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of  Offitafe*. 








I       '  ! 







The  late  Mr.  RICHARD  LLWYD,  when  he  revised  Mr.  WYNNE'S 
History,  and  compiled  the  Topographical  Notices  which  are  now 
appended  thereto,  had  also  an  intention  of  entering  at  some  length 
into  the  Biography  of  Owen  Glyndwr,  and  of  giving  a  sketch  of 
the  ancient  Laws,  Customs,  and  Amusements  of  Wales.  The 
publication,  however,  of  Mr.  Thomas's  Life  of  Glyndwr,  and  the 
appearance  of  several  excellent  essays,  fyc.  in  the  Cambro-Briton 
and  various  periodical  works  on  the  other  subjects  alluded  to, 
having  rendered  it  unnecessary  to  re-state  that  which  had  been  so 
recently  brought  before  the  public,  he,  in  the  present  volume, 
confined  himself  to  the  republication  of  the  History  of  Wales,  as 
given  by  Mr.  WYNNE,  contenting  himself  with  modernising  the 
language,  supplying  notes  of  reference,  and  occasionally  intro- 
ducing notes  explanatory  or  corrective  of  Mr.  WYNNE'S  text.  To 
this  revised  edition  of  the  History,  he  added  a  selection  of 
Topographical  Notices  relative  to  the  several  Counties,  which, 
while  they  are  calculated  to  amuse  and  inform  the  reader,  will 
also  be  found  to  throw  much  additio?ial  light  on  the  history  and 
manners  of  the  Cambro-Britons  of  former  days,  and  give  at  the 
same  time  a  tolerably  correct  view  of  the  present  state  of  the 
Principality.  To  enable  him  to  make  these  notices  more  copious, 
and  to  do  so  without  augmenting  unnecessarily  the  price  of  the 
work,  Mr.  LLWYD  omitted  some  appendages  formerly  attached  to 
r.  Wynnes  History,  but  which,  while  they  were  in  themselves  of 
nature  to  be  of  little  interest  at  any  period,  have  now,  by  reason 
of  the  facts  therein  referred  to  having  been  of  late  years  much  more 
clearly  elucidated  by  writers  in  publications  of  very  general  circu- 
lation, become  obsolete  and  disregarded.  It  is,  therefore,  hoped, 
that  the  present  edition  of  the  HISTORY  AND  DESCRIPTION  OF  WALES 
will  be  favourably  received;  and  that  the  good  intentions  of  its 
deceased  compiler  will  be  accepted  as  an  apology  for  any  errors  or 
omissions  that  may  be  discovered  by  the  historian,  the  antiquarian, 
or  the  topographer. 

JANUARY,  1832. 



W  HEN  the  Roman  empire,  under  Valentlnian  the 
younger,  began  to  decline,  and  became  sensibly  unable 
to  repress  the  perpetual  incursions  of  the  Goths,  Huns, 
Vandals,  and  other  barbarous  invaders,  it  was  found  neces- 
sary to  abandon  the  remotest  parts  of  that  unwieldy  body, 
and  to  recal  the  Roman  forces  that  defended  them,  the 
better  to  secure  the  interior  and  the  provinces  most  exposed 
to  the  depredations  of  the  barbarians.  And  in  this  exigency 
of  the  Roman  affairs,  Britain,  as  lying  far  remote  from  the 
heart  of  the  empire,  was  deprived  of  the  Roman  garrisons ; 
which,  being  transported  into  Gaul  upon  more  urgent 
occasions,  left  it  naked  and  exposed  to  the  inveterate  cruelty 
of  the  Scots  and  Picts :  for  no  sooner  had  they  understood 
of  the  departure  of  the  Romans  out  of  Britain,  and  that  the 
Britons  were  to  expect  no  further  help  from  the  empire, 
but  they  descended  in  greater  numbers  than  formerly,  and 
with  greater  courage  and  expectation,  being  now  rid  of  the 
fear  they  entertained  of  the  Roman  legions,  who  always 
used  to  hinder  their  progress  and  to  prevent  their  incursions 
into  the  Roman  province.  The  Britons,  perceiving  their 
ancient  and  implacable  enemies  falling  upon  them,  and 
finding  themselves  far  too  weak  to  repel  their  endless 
devastations,  they,  with  a  lamentable  narrative  of  their  own 
miseries  and  the  cruel  oppressions  of  their  enemies,  sent 
over  to  Gaul,  imploring  aid  of  ^Etius,  prefect  of  that 
province ;  who,  being  moved  with  the  deplorable  condition 
of  their  province,  despatched  over  a  legion  under  the  com- 
mand of  Gallio,  which  unexpectedly  surprising  the  Scots 
and  Picts,  forced  them,  with  great  loss  and  destruction, 
to  retire  over  the  seas  or  friths  to  their  own  habitations. 
Then,  helping  the  Britons  to  build  a  wall  of  stone  across 



the  land,  for  a  bulwark  against  any  future  irruptions,  the 
Romans  at  their  departure  told  them  they  could  not  any 
more  undertake  such  dangerous  expeditions  for  their  de- 
fence, and  therefore  admonished  them  to  take  arms,  and 
like  men  vindicate  their  country,  their  wives,  children,  and 
liberties,  from  the  injuries  of  their  barbarous  enemies. 

But  as  soon  as  the  Roman  legion  was  transported  into 
Gaul,  the  Picts  and  Scots  returned,  and  having  by  a  de- 
sperate assault  passed  the  wall,  pursued  the  Britons  with  a 
more  dreadful  and  bloody  slaughter  than  formerly.  The 
Britons,  perceiving  their  condition  most  desperate,  once 
more  sent  their  miserable  complaints  to  ^Etius,  in  these 
tragical  words :  "  To  SEtius,  thrice  consul,  the  groans  of 
the  Britons  :  the  barbarians  drive  us  to  the  sea,  and  the 
sea  drives  us  back  to  them ,  and  so,  distracted  betwixt  two 
deaths,  we  are  either  drowned  or  perish  by  the  sword.* 
But  they  solicited  to  no  purpose :  the  Romans  having  al- 
ready bid  absolutely  farewell  to  Britain,  and  the  empire 
being  cruelly  oppressed  by  the  Goths  and  other  barbarous 
nations,  they  were  not  in  a  condition  possibly  to  assist  them. 
The  Britons,  therefore,  finding  themselves  absolutely  for- 
saken by  the  Romans,  and  conceiving  it  utterly  impracticable 
to  drive  away  the  barbarians  by  their  own  strength,  saw  it 
urgently  necessary  to  call  in  the  aid  of  some  foreign  nation, 
whose  labour  in  repelling  their  enemies  should  be  gratefully 
and  satisfactorily  rewarded. 

The  reason  that  the  British  nation  was  at  this  time  so 
weak  and  impotent,  and  so  manifestly  unable  to  withstand 
these  barbarous  enemies,  who  were  far  inferior  as  to  extent 
of  country,  and  probably  in  number  of  people,  may  in  great 
measure  be  attributed  to  the  ease  and  quietness  the  Britons 
enjoyed  under  the  Roman  government.  For  whilst  the 
Roman  legions  continued  in  Britain,  they  ever  undertook  the 
security  and  preservation  of  it ;  so  that  the  Britons  hereto- 
fore were  little  concerned  at  the  incursions  of  the  Scots  and 
Picts,  depending  wholly  upon  the  strength  and  valour  of  the 
Romans,  insomuch  that,  within  a  while,  they  fell  into  a  fit 
of  luxury  and  effeminacy,  and  quickly  forgot  that  martial 
prowess  and  military  conduct  which  their  ancestors  so 
famously  excelled  in.  For,  after  their  entire  subjection  to 
the  Romans,  they  had  little  or  no  opportunity  to  exercise 
their  valour,  excepting  in  some  home-bred  commotions 
excited  by  the  aspiring  ambition  of  some  mal-eontented 
general,  which  were  quickly  composed  and  reduced  to 
nothing.  And  after  the  Scots  and  Picts  grew  formidable, 

*  Bede,  lib.  1,  cap.  xiii.  p.  51.— Gildas,  cap.  xvii. — Giraldus  Cambrensis,  lib.  7,  p.  42. 


and  durst  venture  to  make  incursions  into  the  Roman  pro- 
vince, the  Britons  were  the  least  concerned  in  opposing 
them,  leaving  that  to  the  care  and  vigilancy  of  the  Roman 
garrisons.  And  this  easiness  and  supineness  of  the  Britons 
may  not  be  untruly  attributed  to  the  policy  of  the  Roman 
constitution ;  for  when  the  Britons  were  brought  subject  to 
the  empire,  the  first  thing  the  Romans  effected  towards  the 
confirmation  of  their  obedience  was  to  take  the  sword  out  of 
their  hands.  They  were  sensible  how  bold  and  valorous 
the  Britons  naturally  were — how  unlikely  to  submit  their 
necks  to  a  foreign  yoke ;  and  therefore  they  found  it  imprac- 
ticable to  obtain  a  quiet  possession  of  this  province,  as  long 
as  the  Britons  had  power  and  opportunity  to  oppose  them. 
This  course,  therefore,  they  found  very  effectual,  and  when 
they  had  once  lulled  them  asleep,  they  were  not  over- 
solicitous  to  rouse  and  awaken  them. 

The  Britons  also  might  possibly  be  too  much  taken  with 
this  sedentary  and  inactive  life ;  and  as  long  as  they  lived 
secure  under  the  protection  of  the  Roman  empire,  they 
little  feared  their  country  would  become  a  prey  to  any 
barbarous  nation.  No  one  would  have  imagined  that  that 
glorious  empire  would  be  so  soon  crushed  to  pieces,  which 
could  not  otherwise  be  effected  than  by  the  insupportable 
pressure  of  its  own  weight.  The  apprehension  of  the  great- 
ness and  strength  of  the  Romans  made  the  Britons  probably 
less  solicitous  of  enabling  themselves  to  defend  their  coun- 
try, not  thinking  they  would  ever  forsake  and  relinquish  the 
province  of  Britain :  but  to  their  sorrow  they  experienced 
the  contrary,  the  affairs  of  the  empire  elsewhere  requiring 
the  help  of  the  British  legions,  so  that  they  were  left 
exposed  to  the  cruelties  of  the  northern  invaders,  having 
not  as  yet  recovered  any  power  or  conduct  to  oppose  them. 
For  had  not  the  Scots  and  Picts  come  on  so  forcibly  at  first, 
but  had  given  time  to  the  Britons  to  shake  off  the  lethargy 
they  had  for  many  years  been  buried  in,  and  to  renew  their 
ancient  discipline  and  vigour,  there  had  been  no  need  of 
calling  in  the  Saxons,  seeing  they  would  in  all  probability 
have  been  able  to  maintain  their  ground  against  any  opposi- 
tion, and  very  likely  would  have  been  in  possession  of  their 
whole  country  to  this  time.  But,  next  to  the  decree  of 
heaven,  the  ruin  of  the  British  nation  must  be  attributed  to 
its  too  much  luxury  and  effeminacy,  and  to  the  universal 
lapse  of  the  nobility  and  people  into  an  aversion  of  all 
military  action  and  martial  discipline.  For  though  a  con- 
tinued peace  be  in  itself  desirable,  yet  oftentimes  nothing 

B  2 


tends  more  to  the  future  ruin  and  downfall  of  a  nation. 
For  peace  begets  in  men  generally  a  habit  of  looseness  and 
debauchery,  and  is  the  occasion  of  many  notorious  extra- 
vagancies and  vicious  practices,  which  weaken  their  hands 
and  cool  their  courage  and  greatness  of  mind,  so  that  in 
case  of  any  open  danger  they  are  incapable  of  defending 
their  country,  and  unfit  to  oppose  the  common  enemy. 
Scarce  any  kingdom  or  nation  was  subverted,  but  the  ruin 
of  it  was  ushered  in  by  these  means :  witness  the  Assyrian 
under  Sardanapalus,  the  Persian  under  Darius,  and  the 
Egyptian  under  Cleopatra ;  so  that  it  was  most  prudently 
urged  by  a  Roman  senator  that  Carthage  might  not  be 
demolished,  lest  that,  for  want  of  an  enemy  abroad,  the 
valour  of  the  Romans  might  degenerate,  and  their  conduct 
be  forgotten.  Had  the  Britons  had  the  fortune  to  be  con- 
tinually in  action,  and  not  exchanged  their  courage  and 
discipline  for  ease  and  laziness,  they  would  have  had  no 
reason  to  dread  the  incursions  of  the  Scots  and  Picts,  nor 
any  need  of  the  aid  and  assistance  of  a  foreign  nation ;  but 
the  condition  of  their  affairs  then  required  it,  and  help  must 
be  had,  or  else  their  country  must  unavoidably  become  a 
prey  to  those  northern  invaders. 

To  prevent,  therefore,  and  repel  their  violence,  King 
Vortigern  held  a  council  of  his  great  men  and  nobles,  at 
which  it  was  concluded  to  be  most  advantageous  to  the 
Britons  to  invite  the  Saxons  out  of  Germany  to  their  aid, 
who,  in  all  probability,  would  gladly  embrace  the  oppor- 
tunity, by  reason  that  their  own  country  was  grown  too 
scanty  for  their  superfluous  numbers.  This  message  of  the 
Britons,  however  originally  delivered,  is  by  an  ancient 
Saxon  writer  repeated  in  this  manner : — "  Most  noble 
Saxons,  the  miserable  Britons,  shattered  and  quite  worn 
out  by  the  frequent  incursions  of  their  enemies,  upon 
the  news  of  your  many  signal  victories,  have  sent  us  to 
you,  humbly  requesting  that  you  would  assist  them  at 
'this  juncture.  A  land  large  and  spacious,  abounding 
with  all  manner  of  necessaries,  they  give  up  entirely  to 
your  disposal.  Hitherto  we  have  lived  happily  under 
the  government  and  protection  of  the  Romans'.  Next  to 
the  Romans  we  know  none  of  greater  valour  than  your- 
selves, and  therefore  in  your  arms  do  now  seek  refuge. 
Let  but  that  courage  and  those  arms  make  us  conquerors, 
and  we  shall  refuse  no  service  you  shall  please  to  impose™ 
To  this  message  the  Saxons  returned  this  short  answer : — 
fc  Assure  yourselves  the  Saxons  will  be  true  friends  to 
the  Britons,  and  as  such  shall  be  ahvays  ready  both  to 
relieve  their  necessities  and  to  advance  their  interest" 



The  Saxons  being  thus  happily  courted  to  what  them- 
selves had  a  thousand  times  wished  for,  arrived  soon  after 
in  Britain,  in  three  gallies,  called  in  their  own  language 
Kiules,  under  the  conduct  of  two  brethren,  Hengist  and 
Horsa.*  Being  honourably  received  by  the  king,  and 
affectionately  treated  by  the  people,  their  faith  was  given 
on  both  sides ;  the  Saxons  stipulating  to  defend  the  country 
of  the  Britons,  and  the  Britons  to  give  the  Saxons  a  satis- 
factory reward  for  all  the  pains  and  dangers  they  should 
undergo  upon  their  account.  At  first  the  Saxons  shewed 
themselves  very  diligent  in  their  employment,  and  success- 
fully repelled  the  Scots  and  Picts,  who,  being  probably 
ignorant  of  the  landing  of  the  Saxons,  and  fearing  no  oppo- 
sition, boldly  advanced  to  the  heart  of  the  country.  But 
when  the  Saxons  became  better  acquainted  with  the  island, 
and  happily  discovered  the  weakness  and  inability  of  the 
Britons,  under  pretence  that  their  pay  was  not  answerable 
to  their  service  and  deserts,  they  quarrelled  with  the  Britons, 
and,  instead  of  siipporting  them  according  to  oath,  entered 
into  a  league  with  their  e-nemies  the  Scots.  Moreover, 
Hengist,  perceiving  with  whom  tie  had  to  do,  sent  over  to 
acquaint  his  countrymen  with  the  beauty  and  fertility  of  the 
island,  and  the  infirmity  and  effeminacy  of  the  inhabitants ; 
inviting  them  to  be  sharers  of  his  future  success  and  ex- 
pectations. With  his  invitation  they  readily  complied,  and 
sailing  over  in  great  numbers  they  thought  to  take  posses- 
sion of  that  country,  which  fortune  promised  should  be  their 
own :  but  they  found  that  they  must  fight  for  it  first ;  the 
Britons  having  resolved  to  defend  themselves  and  their 
country  to  the  last  against  these  treacherous  practices  of  the 
Saxons,  and,  if  possible,  to  drive  them  to  their  primitive 
habitations.  For  when  the  Britons  became  sensible  of  the 
undermining  aim  of  the  Saxons,  how  they  secretly  endea- 
voured the  total  extirpation  of  the  British  nation,  they 
presently  betook  themselves  to  their  swords,  and  in  a  short 
time  became  signally  famous  for  their  valour  and  conduct. 
This  the  Saxons  afterwards  grievously  felt,  though  the  total 
recovery  of  Britain  proved  impracticable  for  want  of  power; 


*  These  were  princes  of  great  distinction.  They  were  the  descendants  of  Woden,  the 
founder  of  the  nation,  and  regarded  by  the  Saxons  as  the  deity  who  presided  in  war, 
agreeably  to  the  custom  of  the  early  ages,  of  paying  divine  honours  to  any  distinguished 
individual  who  had  been  the  instrument  of  glory  or  of  utility  to  his  country.  From 
Woden  is  derived  Wednesday,  being  the  day  dedicated  to  the  honour  of  that  Saxon 
deity  :  Friday,  likewise,  is  derived  from  the  Saxon  goddess  Fria,  being  the  day  dedicated 
to  her  worship.  And  in  the  same  manner  every  other  day  in  the  week  has  taken  its 
derivation  from  the  Saxon  deities.— See  Verstegan,  cap.  iii.  p.  69,  77.  Bede,  lib.  1, 
cap.  xv.  p.  53. 


the  Saxons  having,   by  massacres  and  other  treacherous 
means,  most  unmercifully  lessened  the  force  and  number  of 
the  Britons.      King  Vortigern  loved  his  ease  too  well  to 
observe  their  practices,  and  besides  became  so  foolishly 
enamoured  with  the  daughter  of  Hengist,  who  purposely 
was  laid  to  entrap  him,  that  the  Saxons  upon  the  strength 
of  this  marriage  began  to  carve  for  themselves,  and  during 
Vortigern's  reign*  laid  so  firm  a  foundation  for  the  Saxon 
conquest,  that  the  succeeding  British  kings,  though  famously 
valiant,  could  never  undermine  it.     The  sottishness  of  his 
father  young  Vortimer  could  not  at  length  endure,  nor  to 
see  himself   and   his  country   so  openly  and    shamefully 
imposed  upon  by  strangers,   and  therefore  he  resolved  to 
take  the  British  government  upon  himself,  and  to  endeavour 
the  universal  expulsion  of  the   Saxons.      With  him  the 
British  nobility  willingly  joined,   and  after  several  famous 
victories  over  the  Saxons  he  was  unhappily  poisoned  by  a 
Saxon  lady.     After  his  death  the  Britons  bravely  defended 
themselves  against  the  prevailing  greatness  of  the  Saxons, 
under  those  valiant  princes,   Aurelius  Ambrosius,  Uther 
Pendragon,    Arthur,    Constantine  II.    Aurelius   Conanus, 
Vortiper,  and  Maelgwyn.     To  him  succeeded  Careticus ;  in 
whose  time  the   Saxons,   aspiring  to  a  total  conquest  of 
Britain,  invited  over  one  Gurmundus,  a  Norwegian  pirate, 
who  had  lately  signalized  himself  in  Ireland,  and  obtained  a 
conquest  over  that  kingdom.    Him  they  employed  to  march 
against  Careticus,  who  being  overcome  and  vanquished  by 
him,   the  Britons  were  forced  some  to  retire  beyond  the 
rivers  Severn  and  Dee,  some  to  Cornwall,  and  the  rest  to 
Little  Britain  (or  Britanny),  in  France.     The  British  affairs 
were  now  brought  very  low,  and  their  government  reduced 
within  a  very  narrow  compass;    so  that  the  title  of  the 
Kings  of  Britain  can  be  but  superficially  attributed  to  the 
succeeding  princes,  Cadwan,  Cadwallon,  and  Cadwalader. 


*  Fabian,  p.  79. 

This  prince  had  by  his  first  wife  three  sons,  Vortimer,  Catigern,  and  Pascensj  and  he 
bad  one  son  named  Faustus,  it  is  said,  by  his  own  daughter. 



C/ADWALADER,  surnamed  Vendiged,  or  the  Blessed, 
was  the  last  of  British  race  that  enjoyed  the  title  of  King 
of  Britain;  after  him,  the  Welsh,  who  were  the  most  AD. 678. 
numerous  remains  of  the  Britons,  disdaining  to  own  any 
subjection  to  the  oppressing  Saxons,  set  up  a  new  govern- 
ment among  themselves,  and  altered  the  style  of  British 
Kings  to  that  of  Princes  of  Wales.  But  whilst  Cadwalader 
ruled  in  Britain,  a  severe  famine,  attended  with  a  raging 
pestilence,  which  assuredly  sprung  from  the  continued  war 
which  was  so  eagerly  carried  on  betwixt  the  Britons  and 
Saxons,  happened  in  the  island,  and  occasioned  a  most 
lamentable  mortality  among  his  subjects ;  insomuch  that  he 
was  compelled,  together  with  a  great  number  of  his  nobility 
and  others,  to  retire  for  refuge  to  his  cousin  Alan,  King  of 
Llydaw,  or  Little  Britain  in  France.  There  he  met  with  A 
all  civility  suitable  to  his  quality  and  condition,  as  well 
because  of  his  own  near  relation  and  consanguinity  to  Alan,* 
as  upon  the  account  that  their  subjects  were  originally  one 
and  the  same  people :  for  the  inhabitants  of  Little  Britain, 
about  the  year  of  Christ  384,  went  over  out  of  this  island, 
under  the  command  of  Conan,  Lord  of  Meriadoc,  to  the 
aid  of  Maximus  the  Tyrant,  against  the  Emperor  Gratianus. 
For  this  service  Maximus  granted  to  Conan  and  his  fol- 
lowers the  country  of  Armorica,  where  the  Britons,  having 
driven  out  the  former  inhabitants,  seated  themselves,  and 
erected  a  kingdom,  which  lasted  for  many  years  under 
several  kings,  whose  names  and  succession  are  as  follow  : — 


1.  Conan  Meriadoe.  13.  Conobertus. 

2.  Gradlonus.  14.  Budicus  II. 

3.  Salomon  I.  15.  Theordoricus. 

4.  Auldranus.  16.  Ruhalhonus. 

5.  Budicus  I.  17.  Daniel    Dremrost,    i.  e. 

6.  Howelus  Magnus.  rubicunda  facie. 

7.  Howelus  II.  18.  Aregstanus. 

8.  Alanus  I.  19.  Maconus. 

9.  Howelus  III.  20.  Neomenius. 

10.  Gilquellus.  21.  Haruspogius. 

11.  Salomon  II.  22.  Salomon  III. 

12.  Alanus  II. 


*  Baker's  Chron,  p.  4.— J.  Fordun's  Hist.  Scot.— Gale's  Scriptor.  p.  647. 


Alan  II.  reigned  in  Little  Britain,  when  Cadwalader  was 
forced  to  forsake  his  own  dominions,  and  retire  beyond  the 
seas.  He  was  descended  from  Run,  the  son  of  Maelgwyn 
Gwynedd,  King  of  Great  Britain,  by  a  daughter  married  to 
Howel  the  Second,  King  of  Little  Britain.  This  kingdom 
remained  firm  till  Salomon  III.  was  treacherously  slain  by 
his  own  subjects;  upon  which  unhappy  occurrence,  the 
kingdom  was  converted  to  an  earldom,  whereof  one  Alan 
was  the  first,  a  valiant  and  warlike  prince,  who  stoutly 
resisted  the  Normans,  and  frequently  vanquished  and  over- 
came them. 

But  after  Cadwalader  had  continued  some  time  with 
Alan,  the  plague  being  abated  in  Britain,  he  purposed  to 
return,  and,  if  possible,  to  recover  that  part  of  his  kingdom 
which  the  Saxons  were  now  in  possession  of*  He  received 
frequent  intelligence  of  their  number  and  increase,  how  they 
fairly  bid  for  the  conquest  of  that  country  which  had  been 
governed  by  British  kings  for  the  space  of  1827  years. 
This  troubled  him  exceedingly,  and  though  he  had  little 
hope  of  prevailing  by  the  strength  and  number  of  his 
forces,  yet  he  made  the  best  preparation  that  the  oppor- 
tunity would  permit,  and  despatched  his  fleet  for  the 
transportation  of  his  army,  which  consisted  partly  of  his 
own  subjects,  and  partly  of  such  succours  as  he  received 
from  Alan.  Whilst  he  vigorously  prosecuted  this  design, 
and  was  ready  to  strike  sail  for  Britain,  his  voyage  was, 
it  is  said,  prevented  by  a  message  from  heaven,  which 
counselled  him  to  lay  aside  the  thoughts  of  recovering  his 
kingdom,  because  it  was  already  decreed  above  that  the 
Britons  should  no  longer  enjoy  the  government  of  Britain, 
until  the  prophecy  of  Merlin  Ambrosius  was  fulfilled.  And 
instead  of  a  voyage  to  Britain,  he  was  ordered  to  take  his 
journey  to  Rome,  where  he  should  receive  holy  orders  at 
the  hands  of  Pope  Sergius,  and  instead  of  recovering  the 
British  crown,  have  his  own  crown  shaved  off,  and  be 
initiated  into  the  order  of  the  monks.  Whether  this  vision 
was  signified  to  him  in  a  dream,  or  by  the  impositions 
illusions  of  some  wicked  spirit ;  or  whether  it  may  be  a 
fantastical  conceit  of  his  own,  being  a  man  of  a  mild  and 
easy  temper,  wearied  with  troubles  and  miseries,  is  very 
dubious :  but  this  is  certain,  that  he  never  returned  again 
to  Britain,  after  he  had  gone  over  to  Alan.  Cadwalader 
had  no  sooner  received  this  vision,  but  immediately  he 
relates  the  whole  to  his  friend  Alan,  who  presently  consulted 


*  Baker's  Chron.  p.  4. — Welsh  Chron.  by  Caradoc  of  Llancarvan,  re-published  by  Dr. 
Powel,  p.  3. 


all  his  prophetical  books,  chiefly  the  famous  works  of  the 
two  Merlins,  Ambrosius  and  Sylvestris :  the  first  is  said  to 
have  been  begotten  on  a  spirit,  and  born  in  the  town  of 
Carmarthen,  whence  he  received  the  name  of  Merlin,  and 
to  have  flourished  in  the  reign  of  King  Vortigern.  The 
latter,  called  Caledonius,  from  the  forest  Caledon  in  Scot- 
land, and  Sylvestris  or  Merlin  Wyllt,  because  he  fell  mad 
and  lived  desolately  after  he  had  seen  a  monstrous  shape 
in  the  air,  prophesied  in  the  time  of  King  Arthur,  and  far 
more  full  and  intelligible  than  the  former.  Both  these  were 
in  great  reverence  and  reputation  among  the  Britons,  and 
their  works  very  rigorously  preserved,  and  upon  any  con- 
siderable occasion  most  reverently  consulted.  They  were 
of  opinion  that  nothing  could  escape  their  knowledge ;  and 
that  no  accident  of  moment  or  revolution  could  happen 
which  they  did  not  foretel,  and  which  was  not  to  be  dis- 
covered in  their  writings.  In  the  consultation  therefore  of 
their  prophecies,  and  the  words  which  an  eagle  is  said  to 
have  spoken  at  the  building  of  Caer  Septon,  now  Shaftesbury, 
namely,  that  the  Britons  must  lose  the  government  of  Britain 
till  the  bones  of  King  Cadwalader  were  brought  back  from 
Rome,  Alan  found  out  that  the  time  was  now  come  when 
these  prophesies  were  to  be  accomplished,  and  Britons 
forced  to  quit  their  native  inheritance  to  strangers  and 
invaders.  Upon  this  he  advised  Cadwalader  to  obey  the 
commands  and  follow  the  counsel  of  the  vision,  and  to  hasten 
his  journey  for  Rome.  This  he  was  willing  to  submit  to,  being 
desirous  to  spend  the  remainder  of  his  days  in  peace  and 
quietness,  which  before  he  had  no  opportunity  to  enjoy.  To 
Rome  therefore  he  hastened,  where  he  was  kindly  received 
by  Pope  Sergius :  and,  after  eight  years  spent  there  in  piety 
and  devotion,  he  died  in  the  year  688,  and  with  him  the 
kingdom  and  total  government  of  the  Britons  over  this  island. 
King  Cadwalader  is  said  to  have  been  a  considerable 
benefactor  to  the  Abbey  of  Clynnoc  Vawr  in  Arvon,  upon 
which  he  bestowed  the  Lordship  of  Grayanoc.  This  place 
was  primarily  founded  by  St.  Beuno,  to  whom  it  is  dedicated, 
who  was  the  son  of  Hywgi  ap  Gwynlliw  ap  Grlywis  ap 
Tegid  ap  Cadell,  a  Prince  or  Lord  of  Glewisig,  brother's 
son  to  St.  Cadoc  ap  Gwynlliw,  sometime  Bishop  of  Bene- 
ventum,  in  Italy.  He  was  by  the  mother's  side  cousin- 
german  to  Laudatus,  the  first  Abbot  of  Enlli,  or  the  island 
of  Bardsey,  and  to  Kentigern,  Bishop  of  Glasgow,  in  Scot- 
land, and  of  Llanelwy,  or  St.  Asaph,  in  Wales;  which  last 
was  son  to  Owen,  a  Prince  of  Scotland,  and  grandson  to 
Unen  Reged,  King  of  Cumbria.  The  building  of  a 



monastery  at  Clynnoc  happened  on  this  occasion :  Beuno 
having  raised  to  life,  as  the  tradition  goes,  St.  Winifred, 
who  was  beheaded  by  one  Caradoc,  a  lord  in  North  Wales, 
upon  the  account  that  she  would  not  yield  to  his  unchaste 
desires,  became  in  very  great  esteem  with  King  Cadvan, 
who  bestowed  upon  him  certain  lands  whereon  to  build  a 
monastery.  Cadwallon  also,  Cadvan's  son,  gave  him  the 
lands  of  Gwaredoc,  where  beginning  to  build  a  church,  a 
certain  woman  with  a  child  in  her  arms  prevented  his 
further  progress,  assuring  him  that  those  lands  were  the 
proper  inheritance  of  that  child.  Beuno  was  so  exceedingly 
troubled  at  this,  that  without  any  more  consideration  on  the 
matter,  taking  the  woman  along  with  him,  he  went  in  all 
haste  to  Caer  Seiont,  (called  by  the  Romans  Segontium, 
now  Carnarvon,*)  where  King  Cadwallon  then  kept  his 
Court;  when  he  was  come  before  the  king,  he  told  him, 
with  a  great  deal  of  zeal  and  concern,  that  he  had  not  done 
well  to  devote  to  God's  service  what  was  another  man's 
inheritance,  and  therefore  demanded  back  of  him  the  golden 
sceptre  he  had  given  him  in  lieu  and  consideration  of  the 
said  land,  which  the  king  refusing  to  do,  was  presently 
excommunicated  by  Beuno,  who  thereupon  departed  and 
went  away.  But  a  certain  person  called  Gwyddeiant,  the 
king's  cousin-german,  hearing  what  had  happened,  imme- 
diately pursued  Beuno;  whom,  when  he  had  overtaken, 
he  bestowed  upon  him  (for  the  good  of  his  own  soul  and  the 
king's)  the  township  of  Clynndc  Vawr,  being  his  undoubted 
inheritance;  where  Beuno  built  a  church,  about  the  year 
616,  about  which  time  King  Cadvan  died,  leaving  his  son 
Cadwallon  to  succeed  him.  And  not  long  before  this  time, 
Eneon  Brenin,  or  Anianus,  King  of  the  Scots,  a  considerable 
prince  in  the  North  of  Britain,  leaving  all  his  royalty  in 
those  parts,  came  to  Leyn  in  Gwynedd,  where  he  built  a 
church,  which  is  still  called  from  him,  Llan  Eingan  Brenin ; 
where  he  is  said  to  have  spent  the  remainder  of  his  days  in 
the  fear  and  service  of  God,  He  was  son  to  Owen  Danwyn, 
the  son  of  Eneon  Yrth,  son  to  Cunedda  Wledig,  King  of 
Cumbria,  and  a  great  prince  in  the  North,  and  cousin- 
german  to  the  great  Maelgwyn  Gwynedd,  King  of  Britain, 
whose  father  was  Caswallon-law-hir,  or  the  long  handed,f 
the  brother  of  Owen  Danwyn ;  and  his  mother  Medif,  the 
daughter  of  Voylda  ap  Talu  Traws,  of  Nanconwy.  This 
Maelgwyn  died  about  the  year  586. 


*  Caer-yn-ar-von ;  the  city  opposite  Mona. — HunfFrey  Lhuyd,  p.  65. 
t  Rowland's  Mona  Ant  p.  183. 



Y?  HEN    Cadwalader   was   departed  for    Rome,   Alan 
began  to   reflect  upon  the   state   and  condition  of  Great 
Britain ;  he  imagined  with  himself  that  the  recovery  of  it 
was  not  impracticable,  but  that  a  considerable  army  might 
regain  what  the  Saxons  now  quietly  possessed.     Therefore 
he  was  resolved  to  try  the  utmost,  and  to  send  over  all  the 
forces  he  was  able  to  draw  together ;  not  doubting  the  con- 
quest of  some  part  of  Britain,   in  case  the  whole   should 
prove  irrecoverable.     He  was  the  more  encouraged  to  this 
expedition,  by  reason  that  the  advantage  was  like  to  be  his 
own,  and  no  one  could  challenge  the  government  of  Britain, 
in  case  fortune  should  deliver  it  to  his  hands.     Cadwalader 
was  gone  to  Rome,  and  in  all  probability  never  to  return : 
his  son  Idwal  Ywrch,  or  the  Roe,  was  young  and  under  the 
tuition  of  Alan,  so  that  the  event  of  this  expedition  must  of 
necessity  fall  to  himself,   or  by  his  concession  to  his  son 
Ivor,  who  was  to  be  chief  in  the  undertaking.     Having 
raised  a  considerable  army,  consisting  chiefly  of  his  own 
subjects,  with  what  remained  of  the  Britons  that  came  over 
with  King  Cadwalader,  he  despatched  it  for  Britain,  under 
the  command  of  his  son  Ivor,   and  his  nephew  Ynyr :  they 
safely  landed  in  the  western  parts  of  Britain,  which  put  the 
Saxons  to  so  great  a  fright,  that  they  immediately  drew  up 
all  their  power  to  oppose  them,  and  to  hinder  their  progress 
into  the  country.     The  Britons,  though  somewhat  fatigued 
with  their  voyage,  gave  them  battle,  and  after  a  very  great 
slaughter  of  the  Saxons  possessed  themselves  of  the  countries 
of  Cornwall,  Devon,   and  Somersetshire.     This  proved  a 
fortunate  beginning  for  the  Britons,  and  gave  them  great 
hopes  of  farther  success  in  the  recovery  of  their  country ; 
but  that  could  not  be  expected  without  great  opposition, 
and  several  hot  engagements  with  the  Saxons.     This  they 
were  immediately  made  sensible  of;  for  they  had  scarce  time 
to  breathe,  and  to  recover  their  spirits  after  the  last  battle, 
but  Kentwyn,   King  of  the  West-Saxons,  marched  against 
them  with   a  powerful   army,    consisting  of   Saxons   and 
Angles.     The  Britons  resolved  to  fight  them;  but  whilst 
both  armies  were  in  view  of  each  other  they  thought  it  more 
advisable  to   cease  from  any  hostility,  and  to  enter   into 
articles  of  composition.     Ivor  seemed  already  satisfied  with 
his  conquest,    and  willingly  agreed  to  marry  Ethelberga, 
Kentwyn's  cousin,    and  peaceably  to  enjoy  for  his  life  so 



much  as  he  was  already  in  possession  of.  This  he  faithfully 
observed  during  the  reign  of  Kentwyn  and  his  nephew 
Cadwal,  who,  after  two  years,  resigned  the  kingdom  of  the 
West- Saxons  to  his  cousin  Ivor.  And  now  Ivor  was  become 
unexpectedly  powerful,  being  King  as  well  of  the  Saxons 
as  of  the  Britons  that  inhabited  the  westeni  parts  of  the 
island.  He  was  now  able  to  undertake  somewhat  consider- 
able, and  therefore  began  to  fall  foul  upon  his  neighbours, 
the  kings  of  Kent,  of  the  West-Saxons,  and  Mercia,  whom 
he  vanquished  in  several  battles.  But  being  at  length  tired 
with  the  weight  of  government,  he  went  to  Rome,  after  the 
example  of  Cadwalader,  and  resigned  the  rule  of  the  Saxons 
to  his  cousin  Adelred,  leaving  the  Britons  to  the  care  of 
Roderic  Molwynoc,  the  son  of  Idwal  Ywrch. 

This  Ivor  founded  the  Abbey  of  Glastonbury,  called  in 
the  British  tongue  Ynys  Avalon ;  wiiere  there  had  been  a 
Christian  church  for  several  years  before,  and  the  first  that 
was  ever  erected  in  Britain.  For  Joseph  of  Arimathea 
being  sent  by  Philip  the  Apostle  in  the  days  of  Arviragus, 
An.  Chr.  53^  to  preach  the  Gospel  in  Britain,  seated  him- 
self here,  and  built  a  church  for  the  British  Christians. 
This  chur;ch  afterwards  Ivor  .converted  into  an  abbey,  which 
he  endowed  with  very  large  possessions ;  being  famous  for 
the  burying-place  of  Joseph  of  Arimathea*  and  King 


*  Whether  the  ancient  tradition  of  Joseph  of  Arimathea,  who  might  then  well  transport 
himself  into  Britain  in  one  of  the  Phoenician  ships  that  frequently  traded  for  tin,  and  to 
carry  with  him  the  first  tidings  of  Christ,  has  any  foundation  in  truth  (not  heeding  the 
Glastonbury  story),  is  uncertain.  Yet  it  seems  very  probable  that  that  honourable  per- 
son, soon  after  the  ascension  of  Christ,  conveyed  himself  away  from  the  Jewish  sanhedrim, 
of  which  he  was  a  member,  to  some  remote  country,  for  fear  the  Jews  should  question 
him  about  Christ's  body,  which  he  had  buried,  but  which  had  risen  up  from  the  grave  he 
had  laid  it  in  :  which  must  be  a  fear  well  grounded,  and  a  just  occasion  of  his'withdrawing 
himself  somewhere  out  of  their  reach.  And  that  he'di'd  so  is  very  likely  ;  for  a  person  of 
his  character  and  merit,  if  he  had  staid  in  Judea  during  the  ten  succeeding  years  after  the 
resurrection,  would  in  all  probability  have  met  with  an  eminent  mention  even  in  Scrip- 
ture, either  for  his  death  or  his  conduct  in  propagating  the  gospel.— Rowland's  Mona 
Antiqua  Re,staurata,  p.  138. 

Glastonbury  derives  its  origin  (says  Camden)  from  Joseph  of  Arimathea,  the  same  who 
buried  Christ's  body  ;  who,  when  he  came  to  preach  the  gospel  in  Great  Britain,  as  it  is 
asserted  he 'did  by  the  Romish  legends,  he  landed  in  the  isle  of  Avilon,  fixed  his  staff  in 
the  ground, (a  dry  thorn  sapling,  which  had  been  his  companion  through  all  the  countries 
he  had  passed),  and  fell  asleep.  When  he  awoke,  he  found  to  his  great  surprise  that  his 
staff  had  taken  root,  and  was  covered  with  white  blossoms.  From  this  miracle,  however, 
he  drew  a  natural  conclusion,  that,  as  the  use  of  his  staff  was  thus  taken  from  him,  it  was 
ordained  that  he  should  take  up  his  abode  in  this  place.  .Here,  therefore,  he  built  a 
chapel,  which,  by  the  piety  of  succeeding  times,  increased  into  this  magnificent  foundation. 
But  of  these  edifices,  a  small  part  of  the  great  church  of  the  abbey,  fragments  of  Saint 
Joseph's  chapel,  the  abbot's  kitchen,  and  some  unintelligible  and  dilapidated  walls,  a're 
all  which  now  survive. 

Gibson,  in  his  additions  to  Camden,  folio  78,  says  — «  From  hence  let  us  go  alopg  wi,th 
Mr.  Camden  north. west  to  Glassonbury,  where,  among  other  curiosities,  he  mentions  the 
budding  of  a  hawthorn-tree  on  Christmas  Day.  The  tree  has  been  cut  down  these  many 
y»'ars ;  yet  there  are  some  still  growing  in  the  county  from  branches  of  that,  as  particu- 
larly one  in  the  garden  of  William  Stroud,  Esq.  possessor  of  the  ground  where  the  other 
stood,  another  in  the  garden  of  the  White  Hart  Inn,  in  Glassonbury." 


Arthur.     He  bestowed  also  some  lands  upon  the  church  of 

But  there  happened  several  casualties  in  his  time. 
Brythe,  a  subject  to  Egfride  King  of  Northumberland, 
passed  over  to  Ireland,  and  wasted  and  destroyed  a  great 
part  of  that  kingdom.  In  the  fourth  year  of  his  reign  there 
happened  a  remarkable  earthquake  in  the  Isle  of  Man,  which 
much  disturbed  and  annoyed  the  inhabitants  ;  and  the  year 
following  it  rained  blood  both  in  Britain  and  Ireland.  This 
occasioned  the  butter  and  milk  to  resemble  the  colour  of 
blood;  and  two  years  after  the  moon  also  appeared  all 
bloody.  These  accidents  of  nature  might  presage  some 
tumults  and  disturbances  in  the  kingdom ;  which  were  very 
great  in  his  time.  For  he  was  almost  in  perpetual  hostility 
with  the  Kings  of  Kent,  West-Sex,  and  Mercia ;  which 
occasioned  great  bloodshed  and  slaughter  in  Britain.  His 
journey  to  Rome  put  an  end  to  all  these  commotions,  from 
whence  he  never  did  return,  but  ended  his  days  there  in 
the  practice  of  piety  and  religion. 


I  HE  Government  of  the  Britons  Ivor  resigned  to  Roderic 
Molwynoc,  the  son  of  Idwal  Ywrch,  who  began  his  reign 
An.  720.  But  Adelred,  King  of  the  West-Saxons,  was  A.D.  720. 
displeased  that  Ivor  had  not  bestowed  upon  him  his  whole 
kingdom  ;  and  upon  that  account  he  resolved  to  trouble 
and  plague  Roderic  and  his  Britons.  He  raised  immedi- 
ately a  powerful  army,  and  with  all  his  forces  marched  to 
Devonshire,  which  he  destroyed  with  fire  and  sword. 
From  thence  he  proceeded  to  Cornwall,  intending  to  make 
that  country  sensible  of  the  same  misery ;  but  he  came  far 
short  of  his  expectations,  for  upon  his  entrance  into  the 
county  the  Britons  opposed  him  and  gave  him  battle,  where 
he  was  vanquished  and  forced  to  retire  with  all  speed  to  his 
own  dominions.  This  victory  the  Britons  called  Gwaeth 
Heilyn,  from  the  place  where  this  battle  was  fought.  The  A.D.  721. 
year  following,  the  Britons  again  obtained  two  notable 
victories  over  the  Saxons ;  the  one  at  a  place  called  Garth 
Maelawc,  in  North  Wales,  the  other  at  Pencost,  in  South 
Wales.  But  the  joy  and  satisfaction  which  the  Britons 
entertained  of  these  successes,  were  somewhat  abated  by  the 
death  of  Belin,  the  son  of  Elphin,  a  man  of  noble  birth,  and 
great  worth  among  them. 



About  the  same  time  Celredus  King  of  Mercia  died,  and 
was  succeeded  by  Ethelbaldus,  who  being  very  desirous  to 
annex  that  fertile  and  pleasant  country  lying  between  the 
rivers  Severn  and  Wye  to  his  Kingdom  of  Mercia,  entered 
Wales  with  a  puissant  army.  He  destroyed  and  ravaged 
the  country  before  him  to  Carno,  a  mountain  lying  not  far 
from  Abergavenny,*  where  he  was  met  with  by  the  Britons, 
between  whom  a  bloody  and  sore  battle  was  fought  in  the 

A.D.728.  year  728,  but  the  victory  proved  very  dubitable. 

Not  long  after  died  the  venerable  Bede,f  who  was  edu- 

A.D.  733.  cated  and  brought  up  in  the  Abbey  of  Wyrnetham  or  larewe ; 
a  man  of  great  learning  and  extensive  knowledge,  who  wrote 
several  books,  one  of  which,  entitled,  the  Ecclesiastical 
History  of  the  English  Nation,  he  dedicated  to  Cleolwolfe 
King  of  Northumberland.  The  same  time  Adelred  King  of 
the  West-Saxons,  and  Ethelbald  King  of  Mercia,  united 
their  forces,  and  jointly  marched  to  fight  against  the  Britons. 
The  Welsh  were  now  put  to  very  hard  straits  and  forced  to 
oppose  the  numerous  armies  of  two  powerful  kings.  How- 
ever, fight  they  must,  or  suffer  their  country  to  be  miserably 
over-run  by  their  inveterate  enemies.  Both  armies  being 
engaged,  a  very  dismal  battle  ensued  thereupon,  and  a  very 
great  slaughter  happened  on  both  sides ;  but  the  Saxons 
prevailing  by  the  number  of  their  forces  obtained  a  very 
bloody  victory  over  the  powerless  Britons.  But  Adelred, 
who  was  shortly  followed  by  Edwyn  King  of  the  Picts,  did 
not  long  survive  this  battle ;  and  Cudred  took  upon  him  the 
government  of  the  West-Saxons.  The  Welsh  found  them- 
selves unable  to  cope  with  the  Saxons,  and  too  weak  to 
repress  their  endless  incursions,  therefore  they  applied  them- 
selves to  Cudred  and  joined  in  league  with  him,  who,  upon 
some  occasion  or  other,  had  actually  fallen  out  with 

A  D  746  Ethelbald  King  of  Mercia.  But  Ethelbald  was  so  proud 
with  the  success  of  the  last  engagement,  that  notwithstand- 
ing the  league  with  Cudred,  he  must  needs  again  fall  upon 
the  Welsh.  He  advanced  as  far  as  Hereford,  J  where  the 
Britons,  by  the  help  of  Cudred,  gave  him  a  signal  over- 
throw, and  caused  him  to  repent  of  his  rash  and  precipitous 
expedition.  But  shortly  after,  Cudred  and  Ethelbald  were 
unluckily  reconciled,  and  made  friends  together,  and  Cudred 
relinquishing  the  Welsh,  joined  his  forces  to  Ethelbald's. 
Hereupon  ensued  another  battle,  in  which  the  Welsh,  being 
greatly  overpowered,  were  vanquished  by  the  Saxons ;  after 


*  Abergefni. 

t  At  this  time  (A.  D.  734)  died  the  venerable  Bede.— Flores  Hist.  Matth.  Westm. 
p.  203. 

t  Anciently  called  Henffordd,  or  the  old  road  of  Englishmen.— Humffrey  Lhuyd,  p.  74. 


which  victory  Cudred  shortly  died.  To  him  succeeded 
Sigebert,  a  man  of  a  loose  and  vicious  inclination,  who,  A-D-748- 
for  his  ill-behaviour  in  the  management  of  his  kingdom, 
was  in  a  short  time  expelled  and  deprived  by  his  nobi- 
lity, and  at  last  miserably  slain  by  a  rascally  swineherd. 
After  him  Kenulph  was  chosen  King  of  the  West-Saxons, 
Ann.  750,  in  whose  time  died  Theodore,  the  son  of  Belin,  A.D.  750. 
a  man  of  great  esteem  and  reputation  among  the  Britons. 
And  about  the  same  time  a  remarkable  battle  was  fought 
between  the  Britons  and  the  Picts  at  a  place  called  Mage- 
dawc,  in  which  the  Picts  were  put  to  a  total  rout,  and 
Dalargan  their  king  casually  slain.  But  the  Britons  did 
not  succeed  so  well  against  the  Saxons  ;  for  Roderic  Molwy- 
noc  was  at  length  forced  to  forsake  the  western  countries  of 
Britain,  and  to  claim  his  own  inheritance  in  North  Wales.* 
The  sons  of  Bletrus  or  Bledericus,  Prince  of  Cornwall  and 
Devonshire,  who  was  one  of  them  that  vanquished  Adelred 
and  Ethelbert  at  Bangor  on  the  river  Dee,  had  enjoyed  the 
government  of  North  Wales  ever  since  Cadfan  was  chosen 
King  of  Britain.  Roderic,  therefore,  demanded  the  govern- 
ment of  this  country  as  his  right,  which  he  was  now  willing 
to  accept  of,  seeing  he  was  forced  to  quit  what  he  had 
hitherto  possessed.  But  he  did  not  long  enjoy  it ;  for  he 
died  in  a  short  time,  leaving  behind  him  f  two  sons,  Conan 
Tindaethwy  and  Howel,  after  that  he  had  in  all  reigned 
over  the  Britons  thirty  years. ' 


JiCODERIC  Molwynoc  being  dead,  his  son,  Conan 
Tindaethwy  took  upon  him  the  government  and  principality 
of  Wales,  in  the  year  755.J  He  was  scarcely  settled  in  his  A--D- 755> 
throne,  but  the  Saxons  began  to  make  inroads  into  his 
country,  to  spoil  and  destroy  what  they  conveniently  could 
meet  with.  They  were  animated  thereto  by  the  ill  success 
of  Roderic ;  and  having  forced  the  Britons  out  of  Cornwall 
and  Devonshire,  they  thought  it  practicable  to  drive  them 
out  of  Wales  too,  and  so  to  reduce  the  possession  of  the 
whole  Island  to  themselves.  This  was  their  aim,  and  this 
they  endeavoured  to  put  in  execution ;  but  they  were  met 


*  Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  188. 

f  He  usually  resided  at  Caer  Segont,  on  the  Straits  of  the  Menai,  in  Caernarvonshire. 
—Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  172. 

|  Rowland's  Mona  Ant,  p.  188. 


with  at  Hereford,  where  a  severe  battle  was  fought  between 
them  and  the  Welsh,  in  which  Dyfnwal  the  son  of  Theodore, 
a  stout  and  valiant  soldier,  was  slain.  And  shortly  after- 
wards died  Athelbert,  King  of  Northumberland,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Oswald. 

About  the  same  time  happened  a  religious  quarrel  be- 
tween the  Britons  and  Saxons,  concerning  the  observation  of 
the  feast  of  Easter,  which  Elbodius,  a  learned  and  pious 
man,  endeavoured  to  rectify  in  Wales,  and  to  reduce  to 
the  Roman  calculation,  which  the  Saxons  always  observed. 
The  Britons  differed  from  the  Church  of  Rome  in  the 
celebration  of  this  feast ;  and  the  difference  was  this.  The 
Church  of  Rome,  according  to  the  order  of  the  council  of 
Nice,  always  observed  Easter-day  the  next  Sunday  after  the 
14th  day  of  the  moon ;  so  that  it  never  happened  upon  the 
14th  day  itself,  nor  passed  the  21st.  The  Britons  on  the 
other  hand  celebrated  their  Easter  upon  the  14th,  and  so 
forward  to  the  20th,  which  occasioned  this  difference,  that 
the  Sunday  observed  as  Easter-day  by  the  Britons  was  but 
Palm-Sunday  with  the  Saxons.  Upon  this  account  the 
Saxons  did  most  uncharitably  traduce  the  Britons,  and 
would  scarcely  allow  them  the  name  and  title  of  Christians. 
Hereupon,  about  the  year  660,  a  great  contest  happened, 
managed  on  the  one  part  by  Colman  and  Hylda,  who 
defended  the  rites  and  celebration  of  the  Br:tons ;  and  by 
Gilbert  and  Wilfride  on  the  part  of  the  Saxons.  Hylda 
was  the  niece  of  Edwine,  King  of  Northumberland,  edu- 
cated by  Pauline  and  Aedan.  She  publicly  opposed 
Wilfride  and  other  superstious  monks,  as  to  such  trifles  and 
bigotry  in  religion,  alleging  out  of  Polycrates,  the  fact  of 
Irenaeus,  who  withstood  Victor,  Bishop  of  Rome,  upon  the 
same  account;  and  the  custom  of  the  churches  of  Asia 
observed  by  St.  John  the  Evangelist,  Philip  the  Apostle, 
Polycarpus,  and  Melito ;  and  likewise  observed  in  Britain 
by  Joseph  of  Arimathea,  who  first  preached  the  gospel 

Offa*  was  made  King  of  Mercia,  and  Brichtrich  of  the 
•D.763.  West-Saxons;  about  which  time  died  Fermael,  the  son  of 
Edwal  and  Cemoyd,  King  of  the  Picts.  The  Saxons  daily 
encroached  upon  the  lands  and  territories  of  the  Welsh 
beyond  the  river  Severn,  but  more  especially  towards  the 
south  part  of  the  country.  These  encroachments  the  Welsh 
could  not  endure,  and  therefore  were  resolved  to  recover 
their  own,  and  to  drive  the  Saxons  out  of  their  country. 
The  Britons  of  South  Wales,  as  receiving  the  greatest  injury 

*  Saxon.  Annal.  p.  59. 


and  disadvantage  from  the  Saxons,  presently  took  up  arms  A.  D.  776. 
and  entered  into  the  country  of  Mercia,  which  they  ravaged 
and  destroyed  with  fire  and  sword.  Shortly  after,  all  the 
Welsh  joined  their  forces  together,  fell  upon  the  Saxons, 
forced  them  to  retire  beyond  the  Severn,  and  then  returned 
home  with  a  very  considerable  spoil  of  English  cattle.*  The 
Welsh,  finding  the  advantage  of  this  last  incursion,  and  how 
that  by  these  means  they  galled  and  vexed  the  Saxons, 
frequently  practised  the  same;  and,  entering  their  country 
by  stealth,  they  killed  and  destroyed  all  before  them,  and 
driving  the  cattle  beyond  the  river,  ravaged  and  laid  waste 
the  whole  country.  OfFa,  King  of  Mercia,  not  being  able 
to  endure  these  daily  incursions  and  depredations  of  the 
Welsh,  entered  into  a  league  with  the  rest  of  the  Saxon 
kings  to  bend  their  whole  force  against  the  Welsh,  and 
having  raised  a  very  strong  and  numerous  army,  passed  the 
Severn  into  Wales.  The  Welsh  being  far  too  weak  to 
oppose  and  encounter  so  great  an  army,  quitted  the  even 
and  plain  country  lying  upon  the  banks  of  the  Severn  and 
Wye,f  and  retired  to  the  mountains  and  rocks,  where  they 
knew  they  could  be  most  safe  from  the  inveterate  and 
revengeful  arms  of  the  Saxons:  but  as  soon  as  the  Saxons 
retired,  being  unable  to  effect  any  thing  against  them  in 
these  strong  and  natural  fortifications,  the  Welsh  still  made 
inroads  into  their  territories,  and  seldom  returned  without 
some  considerable  booty  and  advantage.  The  Saxons  were 
much  nettled  at  these  bo-peeping  ravagers,  and  pursued 
them  still  to  their  holds,  but  durst  not  follow  them  further, 
lest  they  should  be  entrapped  by  such  as  defended  the 
straights  and  passages  of  the  rocks.  King  OfFa,  perceiving 
that  he  could  effect  nothing  by  these  measures,  annexed 
the  country  about  the  Severn  and  Wye  to  his  kingdom  of 
Mercia,  and  planted  the  same  with  Saxons  :£  and  for  a 
further  security  against  the  continued  invasions  of  the 
Welsh  he  made  a  deep  ditch,  extending  from  one  sea  to 
the  other,  called  Clawdd  OfFa,  or  OfFa's  Dike;  upon  which 
account  the  royal  seat  of  the  Princes  of  Powys  was  trans- 
lated from  Pengwern,§  now  Shrewsbury,  to  Mathraval  in 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  19.        f  Hafren  and  Gwy.^-Langhornl  Chron.  Reg.  Ang.  p.  292. 

J  The  large  towns  and  cities  situate  to  the  east  of  the  Severn  and  Dee  were  probably 
built  at  this  period  to  check  the  incursions  of  the  Welsh  by  a  strong  line  of  frontier  posts. 
The  villages  likewise  on  the  east  side  of  Clawdd  OfFa,  whose  names  terminate  in  ton  or 
ham,  were  about  this  time  inhabited  by  Saxons,  who  were  usually  called  Gwyr  y  Mers, 
or  the  men  of  Mercia,  though  in  after  times  the  Welsh  settled  on  each  side  of  the  dike. 

§  Its  ancient  name  was  Pengwern,  or  the  head  of  a  place  where  alders  grow,  and  was 
the  seat  of  the  Kings  of  Powys;  whence  the  Saxon  term  Schrewsbury  is  derived.— 
Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Breviary,  pp.  27  and  50. 


A.  D.  795.  While  these  things  were  transacted  in  the  west,  the 
Danes  began  to  grow  powerful  at  sea,  and  ventured  to  land 
in  tlie  north  of  England;  but  without  doing  any  great  hurt, 
being  forced  to  betake  themselves  to  their  ships  again. 
Within  six  years  after  they  landed  again  in  great  numbers, 
and  proved  much  more  terrible;  they  ravaged  and  de- 
stroyed a  great  part  of  Linsey  and  Northumberland,  over- 
run the  best  part  of  Ireland,  and  miserably  wasted  Rechreyn. 
At  the  same  time  a  considerable  battle  was  fought  at 
Rhuddlan  between  the  Saxons  and  Welsh,  wherein  Caradoc 
king  of  North  Wales  was  killed.  The  government  of  Wales 
was  as  yet  but  weak,  and  not  firmly  rooted,  by  reason  of  the 
perpetual  quarrels  and  disturbances  between  the  Welsh  and 
the  Saxons;  so  that  the  chief  person  or  lord  of  any  country 
assumed  to  himself  the  title  of  king.  Caradoc  was  a  person 
of  great  esteem  and  reputation  in  North  Wales,  and  one 
that  did  very  much  contribute  towards  the  security  of  the 
country  against  the  incursions  of  the  Saxons.  He  was  son 
to  Gwyn,  the  son  of  Colhoyn,  the  son  of  Ednowen,  son  to 
Blethyn,  the  son  of  Blecius  or  Bledericus,  Prince  of  Corn- 

A  D  796  wa^  anc^  Devonshire.  Offa,  King  of  Mercia,*  did  not  long 
survive  him,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Egfert,  who  in  a 
short  time  left  his  kingdom  also  to  Kenulphus;  a  year  after 
that  Egbertus  was  created  King  of  the  West  Saxons. 
About  the  same  time  died  Arthen,  son  to  Sitsylht,  the  son 
of  Clydawc  King  of  Cardigan;  and  sometime  after,  Run 
King  of  Dyfed,f  and  Cadelh  King  of  Powys,  who  were 
followed  by  Elbodius,  Archbishop  of  North  Wales,  before 
whose  death  happened  a  very  great  eclipse  of  the  sun. 
The  year  following  the  moon  was  likewise  eclipsed  upon 
'  Christmas-day.  These  fatalities  and  eclipses  were  thought 
to  portend  no  success  to  the  affairs  of  Wales ;  the  laying  of 
St.  David's  in  ashes  by  the  West  Saxons  being  followed  by 
a  general  and  very  grievous  murrain  of  cattle,  which  much 
impoverished  the  whole  country.  The  following  year, 
Owen  the  son  of  Meredith,  the  son  of  Terudos,  died,  and 
the  castle  of  Deganwy  was  destroyed  by  lightning. 

These  great  losses  which  the  Welsh  sustained  did  not 
reconcile  Prince  Conan  and  his  brother  Howel;  for  they 
quarrelled  with  each  other  when  they  had  the  more  occasion 
to  embrace  and  unite  their  endeavours  against  the  common 
enemy.  Howel  claimed  the  isle  of  Anglesey  as  part  of  his 
father's  inheritance,  which  Conan  would  by  no  means  accede 
to,  nor  consent  that  his  brother  should  take  possession  of  it. 
It  was  the  custom  of  Wales,  that  a  father's  estate  should  be 
equally  distributed  between  all  his  sons;  and  Howel,  by 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  20.  f  Pembroke. 


virtue  of  this  custom,  commonly  called  Gavelkind  from  the 
word  Gafel,  to  hold,  claimed  that  island  as  his  portion  of 
his  father's  estate.  This  custom  of  Gavelkind  was  the 
occasion  of  the  ruin  and  diminution  of  the  estates  of  all  the 
ancient  nobility  in  Wales,  which,  being  endlessly  divided 
between  the  several  sons  of  the  same  family,  were  at  length 
reduced  to  nothing.  From  hence  also  proceeded  various 
unnatural  wars  and  disturbances  between  brothers,  who, 
beina:  either  not  satisfied  with  their  portions  or  displeased 
with  the  country  they  were  to  possess,  disputed  their  right 
by  dint  of  the  sword.  This  proved  the  case  in  the  present 
instance;  for  Howel  would  not  suffer  himself  to  be  cheated 
out  of  his  paternal  inheritance,  and  therefore  he  endeavoured 
to  recover  it  by  force  of  arms.  Both  armies  being  engaged, 
the  victory  fell  to  Howel,  who  immediately  thereupon  pos- 
sessed himself  of  the  island,  and  valiantly  maintained  it 
against  the  power  and  strength  of  his  brother  Conan. 

The  Welsh  bein<j  thus  at  variance  and  enmity  among 
themselves,  and  striving  how  to  destroy  one  another,  had 
yet  another  disaster  added  to  their  misfortunes.  For  the 
following  year  they  suffered  a  very  considerable  loss  by 
thunder  storms,  which  very  much  injured  the  country,  and 
laid  several  houses  and  towns  in  ashes.  About  the  same 
time,  Griffith  the  son  of  Run,  a  person  of  considerable 
quality  in  Wales,  died ;  and  Griffri  the  son  of  Cyngen  was 
treacherously  murdered  by  the  practices  of  his  brother  Elis. 

But  Conan  would  not  rest  satisfied  with  his  brother 
Howel's  forcible  possession  of  the  Island  of  Anglesey,  and 
therefore  he  was  resolved  again  to  give  him  battle,  and 
to  force  him  to  restore  and  yield  up  the  possession  of  that 
country  which  he  had  now  in  his  hands.  Howel,  on  the 
other  hand,  being  as  resolutely  bent  to  maintain  his  ground, 
and  not  to  deliver  up  a  foot  of  what  he  possessed,  as  well  in 
respect  of  his  father's  legacy  as  his  late  conquest,  willingly 
met  his  brother,  put  him  to  flight,  and  killed  a  great  num- 
ber of  his  forces.  Conan  was  greatly  enraged  at  this 
shameful  overthrow,  and  therefore  resolved  either  to  recover 
the  island  from  his  brother,  or  to  sacrifice  his  life  and  his 
crown  in  the  quarrel.  Having  drawn  up  all  the  forces  he  A  D  817 
could  raise  together,  he  marched  to  Anglesey  to  seek  his 
brother  Howel,  who  being  too  weak  to  encounter  and  oppose 
so  considerable  a  number,  was  compelled  to  make  his  escape 
to  the  Isle  of  Man,  and  to  leave  the  Island  of  Anglesey  to 
the  mercy  of  his  brother.  Conan,  however,  did  not  live 
long  to  reap  the  satisfaction  of  this  victory,  but  died  in  a 

c  2 


short  time,  leaving  issue  an  only  daughter  called  Esylht, 
married  to  a  nobleman  of  Wales  named  Merfyn  Frych.  He 
was  son  to  Gwyriad  or  Uriet,  the  son  of  Elidur,  who  was 
lineally  descended  from  Belinus,  the  brother  of  Brennus 
King  of  the  Britons.  His  mother  was  Nest,  the  daughter 
/i  Cadelh  King  of  Powys,  the  son_of  BrochwelYscithroc,* 
who,  together  with  Cadfan  king  of  Britain,  Morgan  King 
of  Demetia,  and  Bledericus  King  of  Cornwall,  gave  that 
memorable  overthrow  to  Etheldred  King  of  Northumber- 
land,  upon  the  river  Dee,  in  the  year  617.  This  Brochwel, 
by  the  Latin  writers  named  Brecinallus  and  Brochmaelus, 
wag  a  yerv  considerable  prince  in  that  part  of  Britain  called 
Powys-land  ;  he  was  also  Earl  of  Chester,  and  lived  in  the 
town  then  called  Pengwern  Powys,  now  Salop,  and  in  the 
place  where  the  college  of  St.  Chad  was  subsequently 
erected.  He  was  a  great  friend  and  a  favourer  to  the 
monks  of  Bangor,  whose  part  he  took  against  the  Saxons 
that  were  urged  by  Augustine  the  monk  to  prosecute  them 
with  fire  and  sword,  because  they  would  not  forsake  the 
customs  of  their  own  church,  and  conform  to  those  of 


being  dead,  Merfyn  Frych  and  his  wife  Esylht, 
who  was  sole  heir  to  Conan,  took  upon  them  the  govern- 
ment of  the  principality  of  Wales.  This  Merfyn  was  King 
of  Man,  and  son  to  Gwyriat  and  Nest,  the  daughter  of 
Cadelh  ap  Brochwel  ap  Elis  King  of  Powys.f  Howel, 
being  forcibly  ejected  out  of  Anglesey  by  his  brother, 
Conan  Tindaethwy,  escaped  to  the  Island  of  Man,  and  was 
honourably  and  kindly  received  by  Merfyn  ;  in  return  for 
whose  civilities  Howel  used  such  means  afterwards,  that 
Merfyn  married  Esylht,  the  daughter  and  heir  of  his  brother 
Conan  (though  others  say  that  he  died  presently  after  his 
escape  to  Merfyn).  Howel,  after  he  had  for  about  five 


*  Of  whom  it  is  thus  written  in  Hist&ria  Diva  Monacella;—"  Fuit  olim  in  Powysia 
quidam  Princeps  illustrissimus  nomine  Brochwel  Ysgithrog,  consul  Leycestriae,  qui  in 
urbem  itunc  temporis,  Pengwern  Powys,  nunc  veto  Salopia  dicta  est  habitabat;  cujus 
domic-ilium  seu  Habitaculum  ibi  steterat  ubi  collegium  divi  Ceddae  nunc  situm  est."  — 
t.  e.  u  There  was  sometime  in  Powys  a  noble  prince,  named  Brochwel  Ysgithrog,  Consul 
or  Earl  of  Chester,  who  dwelt  in  a  town  then  called  Pengwern  Powys,  and  now  Salop, 
whose  dwelling  house  was  in  the  very  same  place  where  the  College  of  St.  Chad  now 

t  Welsh  Chronicle,  p.  22. 


years  enjoyed  the  Isle  of  Man,  and  other  lands  in  the  north 
which  he  held  under  Merfyn,  died  about  the  year  825 ;  on 
whose  death  these  possessions  again  reverted  to  Merfyn, 
whose  ancestors  had  always  held  the  same  under  the  Kings 
of  the  Britons  ;  and  thus,  upon  his  marriage  with  Esylht, 
the  Isle  of  Man  was  annexed  to  the  crown  of  Wales.* 

In  the  first  year  of  their  reign,  Egbert,  the  powerful  King 
of  the  West  Saxons,  entered  with  a  mighty  army  into 
Wales,  destroyed  and  wasted  the  country  as  far  as  Snow- 
don,  and  seized  upon  the  lordship  of  Rhyvonioc  in  Den- 
bighland.f  About  the  same  time  a  battle  was  fought  in 
Anglesey  between  the  Saxons  and  Welsh,  called,  from  the 
place  where  it  happened,  the  battle  of  Llanvaes.  Fortune 
seemed  during  this  period  to  frown  upon  the  Welsh,  and 
their  affairs  were  very  unsuccessful  ;  for  shortly  after  Egbert 
had  advanced  as  far  as  Snowdon,  Kenulph  King  of  Mercia 
wasted  the  country  of  West  Wales,  over-ran  and  destroyed 
Powys-land,  and  greatly  disturbed  and  incommoded  the 
Welsh  nation.^  Soon  after  this,  Kenulph  died,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Kenelm ;  and  he  in  a  short  time  by  Ceol- 
wulph,  who,  after  two  years'  reign,  left  the  kingdom  of 
Mercia  to  Bernulph. 

Egbert,  King  of  the  West  Saxons,  was  grown  very  strong  A,  D.  828. 
and  powerful,  and  contemplated  the  reduction  of  all  the 
petty  kingdoms  in  Britain  under  one  single  monarchy;! 
upon  which  he  commenced  with  Bernulph  King  of  Mercia, 
and  vanquished  him  at  Elledowne ;  and  afterwards  brought 
under  subjection  the  countries  of  Kent  and  of  the  West 
Angles.  But  the  Britons  would  not  be  so  easily  subdued  ; 
for  after  a  long  and  a  cruel  fight  at  Gavelford,  between 
them  and  the  West  Saxons  of  Devonshire,  in  which  several 
thousands  were  slain  on  both  sides,  the  victory  remained 
uncertain.  He  had  better  success  against  Wyhtlafe  King  A.  D-  §29. 
of  Mercia,  whose  dominions  he  easily  added  to  his  now 
increasing  monarchy  ;  and  passing  the  Humber,  he  quickly 
reduced  that  country  to  his  subjection.  The  Saxon  hep- 
tarchy was  now  become  one  kingdom,  and  Egbert  sole 
monarch  of  all  the  countries  that  the  Saxons  possessed  in 
Britain  ;  which  name  he  ordered  should  be  changed  to 
England,  his  ^  people  to  be  called  Englishmen,  and  the 
language  English.|| 


*  Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  188. 

f  Matthew  Westm.  (p.  224—227)  recites  three  different  invasions  of  Wales  by  Egbert, 
in  which  he  subdued  that  country  and  made  its  kings  tributary.     A.  D.  810,  811,  830. 

t  Welsh  Chron.  pp.^24,  25. 

§  Fabian,  p.  184. — Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  171. 

|]  Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Brev.  p.  13.— Verstegan,  c.  5,  p.  125. 


They  who  came  over  out  of  Germany  into  this  island  to 
aid  the  Britons  against  their  enemies  the  Picts  and  Scots, 
were  partly  Saxons,  Angles,  and  Juthes ;  from  the  first  of 
whom  came  the  people  of  Essex,  Sussex,  Middlesex,  and 
the  West  Saxons ;  from  the  Angles,  the  East  Angles,  the 
Mercians,  and  they  that  inhabited  the  north  side  of  the 
Humber ;  from  the  Juthes,  the  Kentishmen  and  they  that 
settled  in  the  Isle  of  Wight.  These  Germans,  after  they 
had  driven  the  Britons  beyond  Severn  and  Dee,  erected 
seven  kingdoms,  called  the  Heptarchy,  in  the  other  part  of 
the  island:  namely,  1.  Kent.  2.  The  South  Saxons,  con- 
taining Sussex  and  Surrey.  3.  The  East  Angles,  in  Nor- 
folk, Suffolk,  and  Cambridgeshire.  4.  The  kingdom  of  the 
West  Saxons,  comprehending  Berkshire,  Devonshire,  So- 
mersetshire, and  Cornwall.  5.  Mercia,  containing  the 
present  counties  of  Gloucester,  Hereford,  Worcester,  Salop, 
Stafford,  Chester,  Warwick,  Leicester,  Derby,  Nottingham, 
Lincoln,  Northampton,  Oxford,  Buckingham,  Bedford,  and 
part  of  Hertford.  6.  The  East  Saxons,  containing  Essex, 
Middlesex,  and  the  other  part  of  Hertford.  7.  The  North- 
umbrians, taking  in  all  the  country  beyond  Humber,  which 
was  divided  into  two  parts,  Deyra  and  Bernicia,  the  first 
portion  extending  from  Humber  to  Tyne,  the  other  from 
Tyne  to  the  Scottish  sea. 

Egbert,  King  of  the  West  Saxons,  having  severally 
conquered  these  kingdoms,  annexed  them  together,  and 
comprehended  them  under  one  monarchy,  which  was  called 
the  kingdom  of  England,  968  years  after  the  coming  of 
Brute  to  this  island,  383  years  after  the  landing  of  Hengist, 
and  149  years  after  the  departure  of  Cadwalader  to  Rome. 

Egbert,*  having  thus  united  under  one  government  these 
several  kingdoms,  which  used  continually  to  molest  and  to 
encroach  upon  each  other's  territories,  .might  reasonably 
have  expected  to  enjoy  his  new  kingdom  quietly,  without 
A.  D.  883.  fear  of  any  disturbance  or  trouble  in  his  dominions.  But 
no  sooner  was  he  established  king  of  England,  than  the 
Danes  began  to  threaten  new  commotions,  and  landed  in 
great  numbers,  and  in  divers  parts  of  the  coast.  Egbert 
fought  several  battles  with  them,  and  with  various  success: 
at  length  the  Danes  landed  in  West  Wales,  marched  for- 
ward for  England,  being  joined  by  a  great  number  of 
Welsh,  and  met  Egbert  upon  Hengist-down,  where  a  severe 
battle  was  fought,  and  the  Danes  put  to  a  total  rout.f  The 
Welsh  suffered  severely  for  this  :  Egbert,  being  highly 
incensed  that  the  Danes  were  supported  by  them,  laid  siege 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  24,  25.— f  S&^on  Chron.  p.  72. 


to  Caer  Lheon  ar  Dhyfrdwy,  or  Chester,  the  chief  city  of 
Venedotia,  which  hitherto  had  remained  in  the  hands  of 
the  Welsh  ;*  he  took  the  place,  and,  among  other  tokens  of 
his  indignation,  he  caused  the  brazen  effigies  of  Cadwalhon 
King  of  Britain  to  be  pulled  down  and  defaced, f  and  for- 
bad the  erecting  of  such  again  on  pain  of  death.  He  issued 
also  a  proclamation  by  the  instigation  of  his  wife  Redburga, 
who  always  bore  an  inveterate  hatred  towards  the  Welsh, 
commanding  all  that  were  any  ways  descended  from  British 
blood,  to  depart,  with  all  their  effects,  out  of  his  kingdom 
within  six  months,  upon  pain  of  death. J  These  were  very 
severe  and  insupportable  terms;  but  he  did  not  live  to 
see  them  put  in  execution ;  for  dying  shortly  after  the  battle 
of  Hengist-down,  he  was  succeeded  by  his  son  Ethelwulph. 
This  King  Ethelwulph  married  his  daughter  to  Berthred, 
who  was  his  tributary  King  of  Mercia,  by  whose  help  he 
successfully  opposed  the  cruel  incursions  of  the  Danes,  who 
miserably  destroyed  the  sea-coasts  of  England  by  fire  and 
sword.  These  Danish  invasions  having  been  successfully 
resisted,  Berthred  King  of  Mercia  attacked  the  Welsh, 
with  whom  a  remarkable  battle  was  fought  at  a  place  called 
Kettell ;  where  Merfyn  Frych,  King  of  the  Britons,  was  * 
killed,  leaving  his  son  Roderic  Mawr,  or  the  Great,  to  suc- 
ceed him  in  the  government  of  Wales.g 


MERFYN  FRYCH  having  lost  his  life,  and  with  it  his 
kingdom,  in  the  battle  of  Kettell,  his  son  Roderic,  sur-  843' 
named  the  Great,  without  any  opposition,  succeeded  to  the 
Principality  of  Wales.  The  first  thing  he  effected  after  his 
advancement  to  the  crown  was  the  dividing  of  Wales  into 
3  provinces,  which  he  distinguished  thus: — Aberffraw,  Dine- 
vawr,  and  Mathraval.  Berthred,  King  of  Mercia,  being 
animated  by  his  late  success  against  Merfyn  Frych,  pur- 
posed to  perform  the  like  exploits  against  his  son  Roderic ; 
and  having  gained  the  aid  and  assistance  of  King  Ethel- 
wulph, he  entered  North  Wales||  with  a  strong  army,  and 
advanced  as  far  as  Anglesey,  which  he  cruelly  ravaged. 
Roderic  met  him  several  times,  and  the  Welsh  at  length  so 
galled  and  resisted  him  that  he  had  little  or  nothing  to 


*  Chron.  of  Wales,  p.  72.  f  Stowe's  Chron.  p.  77. 

I  Chron.  of  Wales,  p.  27.  §  Saxon  Chron.  p.  75. 

II  Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  174.— Sim.  Dunelme,  p.  120-139.— Hist.  Angl.  Script.—     ) 
Matthew  Westm.  p.  231. — Chron.  of  Wales,  p.  35. 


boast  of,  although  Meyric,  one  of  the  chief  princes  among 
the  Britons,  was  slain. 

Berthred  was,  however,  soon  forced  to  desist  from  his 
expedition  against  the  Welsh,  and  to  turn  his  forces  another 
way,  his  own  dominions  requiring  their  constant  residence, 
A.  D.  846.  being  severely  threatened  by  a  foreign  invasion :  for  the 
Danes  were  by  this  time  grown  so  very  powerful,  that  they 
overran  a  great  part  of  England,  fought  with  Athelstan, 
King  of  Kent,  brother  to  Ethel wulph,  and  obtained  so 
much  footing,  that  whereas  they  had  on  previous  occasions 
returned  to  their  own  country  when  the  weather  grew  too 
cold  for  action,  they  now  took  up  their  winter  quarters  in 

The  Welsh,  in  the  mean  time,  being  secure  from  that 
violence  which  they  might  otherwise  have  expected  from 
the  English,  began  to  quarrel  and  fall  out  amongst  them- 
selves. Ithel,  King  of  Gwent  or  Wentland,  for  what  occa- 
sion is  not  known,  attacked  the  men  of  Brecknock,  who 
were  so  resolute  as  to  fight  him,  and  the  event  proved  fatal 
to  Ithel,  who  was  slain  upon  the  spot:  thus  affording 
another  proof  that  it  is  the  unhappiness  of  a  nation  to  be 
composed  of  several  petty  states,  for  in  such  case,  when  it 
js  not  under  apprehension  of  danger  from  an  outward  enemy, 
it  will  often  be  at  variance  and  experience  disturbance 
within  itself. 

Had  the  Britons,  instead  of  falling  upon  one  another, 
taken  the  advantage  of  this  opportunity,  when  the  Saxons 
were  altogether  employed  in  opposing  and  repelling  the 
Danes,  to  increase  and  strengthen  their  number  and  to 
fortify  their  towns,  they  might  at  least  securely  have  pos- 
sessed their  own  dominions,  if  not  extended  their  govern- 
ment to  a  great  part  of  England ;  but  a  sort  of  an  equality 
in  power  begat  an  emulation  between  the  several  princes, 
and  this  emulation  for  the  most  part  ended  in  contention, — 
so  that  instead  of  strengthening  themselves  whilst  they  had 
respite  from  the  English,  they  rather  weakened  their  power 
by  inward  differences. 

Kyngen  King  of  Powys  having  gone  to  Rome,  there  to 

A.D.  854.  end  his  days  peaceably  and  religiously,  experienced  a  death 

not  so  natural  as  he  had  anticipated,  being   barbarously 

Mf          slain   (or,    as  some  say,    choked)    by    his  own  servants. 

Shortly  after  died  Cemoyth  King  of  the  Picts,  and  Jonathan 

Lord  of  Abergeley.      It  was  at  this  time  customary  for 

princes  wearied  with  government  to  go  to  Rome,  and  the 

Pope  willingly  dispensed  with  the    resignation    of  their 

crowns,  because  his  Holiness  seldom  lost  by  it.      King 



Ethelwulph  paid  very  dear  for  his  entertainment  there, 
having  made  his  kingdom  tributary  to  the  Pope,  and  paid 
the  Peter-pence  to  the  church  of  Rome.  The  Saxon  genea- 
logists carry  the  pedigree  of  Ethelwulph  even  up  to  Adam, 
as  may  be  seen  in  Matthew  of  Westminster,  who  in  like 
manner  derives  the  pedigree  of  Oflfa,  King  of  Mercia. 
This  pride  in  genealogy  has  been  the  custom  of  most 
nations  both  ancient  and  modern,  and  has  always  been 
evinced  by  those  whose  families  are  ancient  and  honourable; 
so  that  it  is  very  unfair  to  deride  the  Welsh  because  they 
adhere  to  this  ancient  and  laudable  custom. 

Berthred  King  of  Mercia  became  at  length  far  too  weak 
to  repel  the  daily  increasing  power  of  the  Danes,  who  so 
numerously  poured  upon  him,  that  at  last  he  was  forced  to 
relinquish  his  kingdom  and  fly  to  Rome,  where  in  a  short 
time  he  sorrowfully  ended  his  days.  Ethelwulph  soon  fol- 
lowed, and  left  his  sons,  Athelbald  King  of  the  West  Saxons, 
and  Athelbright  King  of  Kent  and  of  the  East  Saxons. 
Ethelwulph  is  reported  to  have  been  so  learned  and  devout, 
that  the  church  of  Winchester  elected  him  in  his  youth 
Bishop  of  that  see,  which  function  he  took  upon  him  about 
seven  years  before  he  was  made  king.  He  is  said  also  to 
have  conquered  the  kingdom  of  Demetia  or  South  Wales, 
which,  together  with  the  kingdom  of  the  South-Saxons,  he 
bestowed  upon  his  son  Alfred,  upon  condition  he  would 
bring  a  thousand  men  out  of  Wales  to  Winchester  to  the 
aid  of  his  brother  Ethelbert  against  the  Danes.  Athelbald 
succeeding  his  father  in  the  kingdom  of  the  West  Saxons, 
kept  his  mother-in-law,  the  wife  of  Ethelwulph,  for  his 
concubine,  and  afterwards  married  her  in  the  city  of  Chester. 
He  did  not  live  long  in  this  unnatural  connexion,  but  dying 
without  issue  after  he  had  reigned  eight  years,  left  his 
kingdom  to  his  brother  Athelbright. 

About  the  same  time  the  Danes  began  again  to  bestir 
themselves,  and  attacked  the  city  of  Winchester  and  de- 
stroyed it,  on  which  Athelbright,  after  a  long  fight,  forced 
them  to  quit  the  land  and  to  betake  themselves  to  sea 
again:  but  the  Danes  quickly  returned  to  the  Isle  of  Thanet, 
where  they  remained  for  that  winter,  doing  much  mischief 
upon  the  sea-coast,  and  destroying  various  places  on  the 
coast  of  England.  The  English  were  very  glad  that  they 
durst  venture  no  further,  and  the  more,  because  the  Welsh 
began  again  to  be  troublesome,  against  whom  an  army  was 
speedily  dispatched,  in  order  to  prevent  the  advance  of  the 
Welsh  to  the  English  country.  Both  armies  met  at  Gwey- 
then,  where  a  fierce  battle  was  fought,  and  a  great  number 



slain  on  each  side,  but  the  victory  was  uncertain.  The 
Welsh,  however,  not  long  after,  sustained  a  considerable 
loss  by  the  death  of  Conan  Nant  Nifer,  a  brave  and  skilful 
commander,  who  oftentimes  had  valiantly  repulsed  the 
English  forces,  and  obtained  many  signal  victories  over 

The  Danes  had  been  for  some  time  quiet,  being  unable 
to  venture  upon  any  considerable  action,  and  deeming  it 
adviseable  to  secure  only  what  they  had  already  won  until 
they  received  a  reinforcement  from  their  own  country.  This 
was  quickly  sent  them,  under  the  command  of  Hungare  and 
Hubba,  who  landed  in  England  with  a  very  considerable 
army  of  Danes.  King  Athelbright,  whether  terrified  with 
apprehension  of  these  invaders,  or  otherwise  being  indis- 
posed, quickly  afterwards  gave  up  the  ghost,  leaving  the 
management  of  his  kingdom,  together  with  that  of  his  army 
against  the  Danes,  to  his  brother  Ethelred.  The  Danes  in 
the  mean  time  got  sure  footing,  and  advanced  as  far  as 
York,  which  they  miserably  wasted,  killing  Osbright  and 
Elba,  two  Kings  of  Northumberland  that  opposed  them. 
From  hence  they  proceeded  to  overrun  all  the  country  as 
far  as  Nottingham,  destroying  and  spoiling  all  before  them, 
and  then  returned  back  to  York :  but  having  once  tasted 
how  sweet  was  the  spoil  of  a  country  much  more  fertile  than 
their  own,  they  could  not  rest  satisfied  with  what  they  had 
already  obtained,  but  made  a  farther  progress  into  the 
country,  and  attacked  the  kingdom  of  the  East-Angles. 
Edmund  King  of  that  country  being  unwilling  to  endure 
their  ravages,  endeavoured  to  oppose  them,  but  in  the 
undertaking  was  unfortunately  slain.  And  now  after  the 
same  manner  that  the  Saxons  had  formerly  attained  to  the 
conquest  of  Britain,  the  Danes  proceeded  to  the  conquest 
of  England;  for  the  Saxons  having  found  out  the  value  of 
this  island,  and  withal  discovered  the  weakness  and  inability 
of  the  Britons  to  oppose  them,  brought  over  their  hosts  by 
degrees  and  in  several  companies,  by  which  they  wearied 
and  tired  out  the  British  armies.  It  is  certain  that  nothing 
conduces  more  to  the  conquest  of  an  island  than  the  land- 
ing an  army  at  several  places  and  at  several  times,  thus 
distracting  the  counsels  arid  proceedings  of  the  inhabitants; 
and  which,  in  this  instance,  for  want  of  sufficient  power  at 
sea,  could  not  be  prevented.  The  Danes,  being  informed 
of  the  good  success  of  Hungare  and  Hubba  in  England, 
sent  over  another  army  under  the  command  of  Basreck  and 
Aiding,  who  landed  in  Wessex,  and  fought  five  battles  with 
King  Ethelred  and  his  brother  Alfred,  namely,  at  Hengle- 



field,  Eastondown,  Redding,  Basing,  and  Mereton,  in  which 
two  first  the  English  were  successful,  and  in  the  three  last 
the  Danes  obtained  the  victory. 

Soon  after  this  Etheldred  died,  leaving  his  kingdom  to 
his  brother  Alfred,*  who,  as  soon  as  he  had  taken  the 
government  upon  him,  considered  within  himself  what  a  A.D.  872. 
heavy  burthen  he  had  to  sustain,  and  therefore  he  began  to 
enquire  after  the  wisestf  and  most  learned  men,  to  be  directed 
by  them,  whom  he  worthily  entertained,  making  use  of  their 
advice  as  well  in  the  public  government  of  the  kingdom  as 
in  his  private  studies  and  conferences  of  learning.  He  sent 
for  two  very  learned  men  out  of  Wales,  the  one  called  John 
de  Erigena,  surnamed  Scotus,  the  other  Asserius,  surnamed 
Menevensis.  De  Erigena  was  born  at  Menevia,  or  St. 
David's,  and  was  brought  up  in  that  college ;  and,  for  the 
sake  of  learning,  having  travelled  to  Athens,  and  bestowed 
there  many  years  in  the  study  of  the  Greek,  Hebrew,  and 
Chaldaic  tongues,  and  in  the  mysteries  of  philosophy,  came 
to  France,  where  he  was  well  received  by  Carolus  Calvus, 
or  Charles  the  Bald,  and  Ludovicus  Balbus,  or  Lewis  the 
Stammerer;  he  there  translated  the  work  of  Dionysius 
Areopagita,  De  Ccelesti  Hierarchia,  out  of  the  Greek  into 
the  Latin  tongue.  Being  returned  to  Wales,  he  was  sent 
for  by  this  King  Alfred,  who  was  then  founding  and  erect- 
ing the  University  of  Oxford,  of  which  Erigena  became  the 
first  professor  and  public  reader.^  Indeed,  King  Alfred 
bore  so  great  a  respect  to  learning,  that  he  would  suffer 
none  to  bear  any  considerable  office  in  his  court  but  such  as 
were  learned ;  and  withal  exhorted  all  persons  to  embrace 
learning,  and  to  honour  learned  men.  But  though  a  love  to 
learning  be  seldom  reconcileable  with  a  warlike  and  military 
life,  King  Alfred  was  forced  to  regard  the  discipline  of  war, 
so  as  to  defend  his  kingdom  against  the  increasing  power  of 
the  Danes.  For  he  was  scarce  settled  in  his  throne,  but 
this  restless  and  ever-troublesome  people  began  to  molest 
and  destroy  his  country,  insomuch  that  he  was  of  necessity 
forced  to  attack  them,  which  he  did  twice  upon  the  south 
side  of  the  river  Thames,  in  which  engagements  he  slew  of 
the  Danes  one  king  and  nine  earls,  together  with  an  innu- 
merable multitude  of  inferior  soldiers.  About  the  same 
time  Gwgan  ap  Meyric  ap  Dunwal  ap  Arthen  ap  Sitsylht, 
Prince  of  Cardigan,  died,  being  (as  some  say)  unfortunately 
drowned.  The  late  victories  which  Alfred  had  obtained 
over  the  Danes,  did  not  so  much  weaken  and  dishearten 


*  William  Malmsbury,  lib.  2,  cap.  4,  p.  42. 
t  Polydore-Vergil,  lib.  5,  p.  106.  }  Chron.  of  Wales,  p,  33. 


them,  but  that  in  a  short  time  they  recovered  their  spirits 
and  began  again  to  display  a  threatening  aspect.     For  as 
soon  as  they  could  re-unite  their    scattered  forces,  they 
attacked  and  destroyed  the  town  of  Alclyde,  obtained  pos- 
session of  the  city  of  London  and  Reading,  and  over-ran 
all  the  inland  country  and  the  whole  kingdom  of  Mercia. 
Another  army  of  Danes  at  the  same  time    proved  very 
successful  in  the  North,  and  possessed  themselves  of  the 
country  of  Northumberland,  which  did  not  so  much  grieve 
the  English  as  it  annoyed  the  Picts  and  Scots,  who  were 
frequently  beat  off  by  these  Danish  troops.     The  next  year 
three  of   the  Danish  captains  marched  from  Cambridge 
towards  Wareham  in  Dorsetshire,  of  which  expedition  King 
Alfred  being  informed,  presently  detached    his  forces  to 
oppose  them,  and  to  offer  them  battle.     The  Danes  were  so 
alarmed  at  this,  that  they  immediately  desired  peace,  and 
willingly  consented  forthwith  to  depart  out  of  the  country, 
and  to  forswear  the  sight  of  English  ground  :   according 
to  which  capitulation    the  horse  that  night  marched  for 
Exeter,  and  the  foot  being  shipped  off,  were  all  of  them 
drowned  at  Sandwich.     The  Danes  having  thus  left  Eng- 
land, were  not  willing  to  return  home  empty,  but  bent  their 
course  against  Wales.     They  fancied  that  they  were  like  to 
meet  with  no  great  opposition  from  the  Welsh,  and  therefore 
could  carve  for  themselves  according  as  their  fancy  directed 
them ;    but  having  landed  their  army  in  Anglesey,  they 
quickly  experienced  the  contrary ;  Prince  Roderic  opposing 
them,  gave  them  two  battles,  one  at  a  place  called  Bengole, 
A.D.  873.  and  the  other  at  Menegid,  in  Anglesey.     At  the  same  time, 
another  army  of  Danes,  under  the  command  of  Halden  and 
Hungare,    landed   in  South  Wales,    over-ran    the  whole 
country,  destroying  all  before  them,  neither  sparing  churches 
nor  religious  houses.*     But  they  received  their  due  reward 
at  the  hands  of  the  West  Saxons,  who,  meeting  with  them 
on  the  coasts  of  Devonshire,  slew  both  Halden  and  Hungare, 
with  1200  of  their  men.     The  same  year  Einion,  Bishop  of 
St.  David's,  died,  and  was  the  following  year  succeeded  by 
Hubert,  who  was  installed  in  his  place. 

A.  D.  876.  Th.e  English,  being  rid  of  their  powerful  and  ever  restless 
enemies  the  Danes,  began  now  to  quarrel  with  the  Welsh. 
Entering  into  Anglesey,  with  a  numerous  army,  they  fought 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  34. 

About  this  time  Roderic  changed  the  royal  residence  from  Caer  Segont,  near  the 
present  town  of  Caernarvon,  to  Aberffraw,  in  Anglesey.  It  is  strange  that  he  should 
desert  a  country  where  every  mountain  was  a  natural  fortress ;  and,  in  times  of  such 
difficulty  and  danger,  should  make  choice  of  a  residence  so  exposed  and  defenceless.— 
1  tow  land's  Muna  Ant.  p.  173. 


a  severe  battle  with  Roderic,  who,  together  with  his  brother 
(or  as  others  say  his  son)  Gwyriad,  was  unhappily  slain  in 
the  field,  which  battle  is  called  by  the  Welsh,  Gwaith  Duw 
Sul  y  Mon.*     ThisRoderic  had  issue  (by  his  wife  Angharad) 
Anarawd,  Cadelh,  and  Merfyn,  the  last  of  which,  Giraldus 
Cambrensis,  contrary  to  the  common  and  received  opinion, 
will  have  to  be  the  eldest  son  of  Roderic,  upon  whom  was 
bestowed  the    principality  of   North  Wales;    for  it  was 
unanimously  granted  that  Roderic  was  the  undoubted  pro- 
prietor of  all  the  Dominions  of  Wales;   North  Wales  de- 
scending unto  him  by  his  mother  Esylht,  the  daughter  and 
sole    heir   of   Conan   Tindaethwy;    South  Wales   by  his 
wife  Angharad,  the  daughter  of  Meyric  ap  Dyfnwal  ap 
Arthen  ap  Sitsylht,  King  of  Cardigan ;  Powys  by  Nest,  the 
sister  and  heir  of  Cyngen  ap  Cadelh,  King  of  Powys,  his 
father's  mother. f  These  three  districts  Roderic  apportioned 
to  his  three  sons,  giving  North  Wales  to  his  eldest  son 
Anarawd,  and  South  Wales  to  Cadelh,  who,  shortly  after 
his  father's  death,  forcibly  seized  upon  the  portion  of  his 
brother  Merfyn,  upon  whom  Roderic  had  bestowed  Powys- 
land.       Wales  being    thus  divided  between    these   three 
princes,  they  were  called  Y  Tri  Tywysoc  Talaethioc,  or  the 
three  crowned  princes,  by  reason  that  each  of  them  did  wear 
on  his  helmet  a  coronet  of  gold,  being  a  broad  head-band 
indented  upward,  set  and  wrought  with  precious  stones, 
which  in  the  British  Tongue  is  called  Talaeth.     For  each 
of  these  princes  Roderic  built  a  royal  residence :   for  the 
Prince   of  Gwynedd,  or  North  Wales,  at  Aberffraw;   of 
South  Wales,  at  Dinefawr;   for  the  Prince  of  Powys,  at 
Mathrafal.     Roderic  had  issue  also,  besides  these  three, 
Roderic,  Meyric,  Edwal  or  Tudwal,  Gwyriad,  and  Gathelic. 
Roderic,  having    divided   his  principality  betwixt   his 
eldest  sons,  namely,  Aberffraw,  with  the  15  cantreds  there- 
unto belonging,  to  Anarawd;    Dinefawr,  with  its  15  can- 
treds, extending  from  the  mouth  of  the  river  Dyfi  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Severn,  to   Cadelh;    and  Powys,   with   15 
cantreds,  from  the  mouth  of  the  river  Dee  to  the  bridge 
over  the  Severn  at  Gloucester,  to  Merfyn;  ordained,  "  That 
his  eldest  son,  Anarawd,^  and  his  successors,  should  con- 
tinue the  payment  of  the  ancient  tribute  to  the  Crown  of 
England  ;§  and  the  other  two,  their  heirs,  and  successors, 
should  acknowledge  his  sovereignty;   and  that  upon  any 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  35.  f  Rowland's  Mona  Ant.  p.  174. 

J  Roderic,  regarding  likewise  his  eldest  son  Anarawd,  as  the  immediate  heir  of  the 
Cynethian  line,  he  left  to  him  and  his  successors  the  title  of  JBrenhin  Cymrv,  Ollt  or 
King  of  all  Wales.— Rowland's  Mona,  pp.  174, 175. 

§  These  tributes,  according  to  Mr.  Robert  Vaughan,  of  Hengwrt,  in  Brit.  Ant.  Reviv. 
pp.  39,  40,  were  paid  in  the  following  manner  : — The  Kings  of  North  Wales  were  to  pay 


foreign  invasion  they  should  mutually  aid  and  protect  one 

He  farther  appointed,  "  That  when  any  difference  should 
arise  betwixt  the  Princes  of  Aberffraw  and  Cardigan  or 
Dinefawr,  the  three  princes  should  meet  at  Bwylch-y-Pawl,* 
and  the  Prince  of  Powys  should  be  umpire :  but  if  the 
Princes  of  Aberffraw  and  Powys  fell  at  variance,  they  should 
meet  at  Dol  Rhianedd,  probably  Morva  Rhianedd,  on  the 
bank  of  the  River  Dee,  where  the  King  of  Cardigan  was  to 
adjust  the  controversy.  If  the  quarrel  happened  betwixt 
the  Princes  of  Powys  and  Cardigan,  the  meeting  was  ap- 
pointed at  Llys  Wen  upon  the  river  Wye,  and  to  be  decided 
by  the  Prince  of  Aberffraw." 

And  the  better  to  frustrate  any  attempt  of  the  English, 
he  ordained,  moreover,  ee  That  all  strong  holds,  castles, 
and  citadels  should  be  fortified  and  kept  in  repair ;  that  all 
churches  and  religious  houses  should  be  re-edified  and 
adorned,  and  that  in  all  ages  the  history  of  Britain,  being 
faithfully  registered  and  transcribed,  should  be  kept  therein." 


A.D.  877.  1  HE  Welsh  had  often  sorrowfully  felt  the  unnatural 
effects  of  inward  seditions,  and  of  being  governed  by  several 
princes,  which  were  now  about  to  be  renewed  by  Roderic's 
imprudent  division  of  his  dominions  between  his  three  sons. 
The  several  principalities  being  united  in  him,  it  would 
certainly  have  been  the  most  politic  means,  for  the  preserva- 
tion of  the  country  from  the  inveterate  fury  of  the  English, 
and  for  composing  the  inward  differences  which  would  other- 
wise happen,  to  perpetuate  .the  whole  government  of  Wales 
in  one  prince ;  it  being  impossible  so  effectually  to  oppose 
the  common  enemy  by  separate  armies,  and  where  a  different 
interest  interfered,  as  if  the  safety  of  the  same  country  and 
the  honour  of  the  prince  were  unanimously  regarded.  This 
was  the  misfortune  of  the  Ancient  Britons  when  the  Romans 
invaded  their  country :  domestic  broils  and  inward  dissen- 
sions being  sown  among  themselves,  they  could  not  agree  to 
unite  their  powers  and  jointly  to  oppose  the  common  enemy ; 


£63  to  the  crown  of  London  ;  the  Princes  of  Powys  four  tons  of  flour,  and  the  Princes 
of  South  Wales  four  tons  of  honey,  to  the  Sovereigns  of  North  Wales.  The  royal  tribute 
was  called  Teyrnged  j  that  paid  from  the  Princes  of  South  Wales  and  Powys  to  the 
Sovereign  of  North  Wales,  was  called  Madged. 

*  In  the  present  county  of  Montgomery. 


so  that  Tacitus  wisely  concludes,*— Dum  singuli  pugnant 
universi  vincuntur. 

There  are  few  nations  but  have  experienced  the  folly  of 
being  rent  into  several  portions ;  and  the  downfal  of  the 
Roman  empire  may,  not  without  reason,  be  attributed  to 
Constantine's  division  of  it  between  his  sons.  The  Welsh 
at  this  time  soon  felt  the  unhappiness  of  being  in  separate 
states ;  for  Cadelh  Prince  of  South  Wales  being  dissatisfied 
with  his  portion,  and  desirous  to  feed  his  ambition  with 
larger  territories,  seized  part  of  his  brother  Merfyn's  country, 
and,  attempting  forcibly  to  dispossess  him  of  his  lawful 
inheritance,  involved  the  Welsh  in  a  civil  war. 

The  succession  of  the  Princes  of  Wales  proceeded  in 
Anarawd,  the  eldest  son  of  Roderic,  who  began  his  reign 
over  North  Wales  in  the  year  877.*  At  that  time  Rollo,  A.D.877. 
with  a  numerous  army  of  Normans,  descended  into  France, 
and  possessed  themselves  of  the  country  of  Neustria,  which 
from  them  has  since  received  the  name  of  Normandy.  The 
treacherous  Danes  in  England,  also,  who  had  retired  to  the 
city  of  Exeter,  violated  the  capitulation  which  they  had 
lately  sworn  to  observe,  and  upon  that  account  were  so 
warmly  pressed  by  King  Alfred,  that  they  gladly  delivered 
up  hostages  for  the  performance  of  the  articles  formerly 
agreed  upon  between  them.  It  was  not,  however,  their 
intention  to  keep  them  long;  for  the  next  year  they  again 
broke  loose,  possessed  themselves  of  all  the  country  upon 
the  north  side  of  the  Thames,  and,  passing  the  river,  put 
the  English  to  flight,  and  made  themselves  masters  of  Chip- 
penham  in  Wessex:  but  their  whole  army  did  not  succeed 
so  well;  for  Alfred,  meeting  with  a  party  of  them,  slew 
their  captain  and  took  their  standard,  which  the  Danes 
called  RAVEN.  After  this,  he  vanquished  them  again  at 
Edendown,  where,  the  Danes  having  given  hostages  for 
their  peaceable  behaviour,  Godrun,  their  commander,  re- 
ceived the  Christian  faith,  and  so  reigned  in  East  Angle. 
This  period  seemed  to  portend  a  great  storm  upon  Wales;  A.D.  878. 
for  besides  the  death  of  Aeddan,  the  son  of  Melht,  a  noble- 
man of  the  country,  the  articles  of  composition  between  the 
English  and  Danes  occasioned  these  last  to  join  their  power 
with  the  people  of  Mercia  to  fight  against  the  Welsh,  with 
whom  a  severe  battle  was  fought  at  Conwey,  wherein  the 
Welsh  obtained  a  signal  victory,  which  was  called  "  Dial 
Rodri,  or  the  Revenge  of  the  Death  of  Prince  Roderic." 

The  reason  why  the  Mercians  were  so  irreconcileably  en- 

*  Rowland,  p.  174. 

This  territory  was  the  Venedocia  of  the  Romans,  and  was  by  the  Britons  called 
Gwynedh. — Humff.  Lhuyd,  p.  64. 


raged  against  the  Welsh  at  this  time  was  this  :  After  the 
death  of  Roderic  the  Great,  the  northern  Britons  of  Strat- 
clwyd  and  Cumberland  were  much  infested  and  weakened 
by  the  daily  incursions  of  the  Danes,  Saxons,  and  Scots, 
insomuch  that  as  many  oi?  them  as  would  not  submit  their 
necks  to  the  yoke  were  forced  to  quit  their  country  and  to 
seek  for  more  quiet  habitations:  therefore,  about  the  be- 
ginning of  Anarawd's  reign,  many  of  them  came  to  Gwynedd, 
under  the  conduct  of  one  Hobert,  whose  distressed  condi- 
tion the  prince  commiserating,  granted  them  all  the  country 
betwixt  Chester  and  Conwey  to  seat  themselves  in,  in  case 
they  could  drive  out  the  Saxons  who  had  lately  possessed 
themselves  of  it. 

The  Britons  having  expressed  their  thanks  to  Anarawd, 
presently  fell  to  work,  and  necessity  giving  edge  to  their 
valour,  they  easily  dispossessed  the  Saxons,  who  were  not 
as  yet  secure  in  their  possessions.  For  some  time  the 
Welsh  continued  peaceably  in  these  parts  reconquered;  but 
Eadred,  Duke  of  Mercia,  called  by  the  Welsh  Edryd 
Wallthir,  not  being  able  any  longer  to  bear  such  ari  igno- 
minious ejection,  made  great  preparations  for  the  regaining 
of  the  country.  The  northern  Britons,  however,  who  had 
settled  themselves  there,  having  intelligence  of  his  design, 
for  the  better  security  of  their  cattle  and  other  effects, 
removed  them  beyond  the  river  Conwey.  Prince  Anarawd 
in  the  mean  time  was  not  idle,  but  drawing  together  all  the 
strength  he  could  raise,  encamped  his  army  near  the  town  of 
Conwey,  at  a  place  called  Cymryt,  where  himself  and  his 
men  having  made  gallant  resistance  against  the  pressing 
efforts  of  the  Saxons,  obtained  a  very  complete  victory. 

This  battle  was  by  some  called  Gwaeth  Cymryt  Conwey, 
by  reason  that  it  was  fought  in  the  township  of  Cymryt,  near 
Conwey;  but  Prince  Anarawd  would  have  it  called  "  Dial 
Rodri,"  because  he  had  there  revenged  the  death  of  his 
father  Rodri. 

In  this  battle  Tudwal,  Rodri's  son,  received  a  wound  in 
the  knee,  which  caused  him  to  be  denominated  Tudwal 
Gloffever  after;  and  for  his  signal  service  in  this  action  his 
brethren  bestowed  upon  him  Uchelogoed  Gwynedd.  The 
Britons,  pursuing  their  victory,  chased  the  Saxons  quite  out 
of  Wales  into  Mercia,  where,  having  burnt  and  destroyed 
the  borders,  they  returned  home  laden  with  rich  spoils,  and 
so  took  possession  of  the  country  betwixt  Chester  and  Con- 
wey, which  for  a  long  time  after  they  peaceably  enjoyed. 
Anarawd,  to  express  his  thankfulness  to  God  for  this  great 
victory,  gave  very  considerable  lands  and  possessions  to  ^the 



collegiate  churches  of  Bangor  and  Clynnoc  Vawr  in  Arfon. 
After  this,  those  Danes  that  lay  at  Fulhenham,  near  Lon- 
don, crossed  the  sea  to  France,  and  passing  to  Paris  along 
the  river  Seine,  spoiled  the  country  thereabouts,  vanquishing 
the  French  that  came  against  them ;  but  in  their  return 
towards  the  sea  coast  they  were  met  by  the  Britons  of 
Armorica,  who  slew  the  greatest  part  of  them,  and  the  rest, 
confusedly  endeavouring  to  escape  to  their  ships,  were 

It  might  have  been  supposed  that  the  several  misfortunes 
the  Danes  sustained,  first  at  Sandwich,  then  by  King  Alfred, 
and  afterwards  in  France,  would  have  quite  drained  their 
number,  and  utterly  have  rid  Britain  from  so  troublesome 
an  enemy ;  but,  like  ill  weeds,  the  more  they  were  rooted 
up,  the  faster  they  grew :  the  Danes  were  still  supplied  from 
abroad,  and  if  an  army  was  vanquished  here,  another  was 
sure  to  come  in  their  room.  This  the  Welsh  found  to  be 
too  true;  for  not  long  after  this  great  defeat  by  the  Ar- 
morican  Britons,  the  Danes,  not  able  to  venture  upon  these, 
were  resolved  to  revenge  themselves  upon  their  friends  of 
Wales  ;  and  therefore  landing  in  North  W  ales,  they  cruelly 
harassed  and  destroyed  the  country.  Nor  is  it  matter  of 
surprise  from  whence  such  a  wonderful  number  of  Danes 
and  Normans  could  come ;  for  the  kingdom  of  Denmark 
had  under  it  not  only  Denmark,  which  is  a  small  country 
divided  by  the  sea  into  insulas  and  peninsulas  (as  that 
which  joins  upon  Saxony  and  Holsatia,  called  Cymbrica 
Chersonesus,  with  the  islands  of  Zealand  and  Finnen),  but 
also  Norway,  and  the  large  country  of  Sweden,  reaching  to 
Muscovy,  and  almost  to  the  North  Pole.  This  country 
being  then  scarce  known  to  the  world,  did,  all  at  once  as  it 
were,  pour  out  a  vast  multitude  of  people,  who,  like  a 
sudden  storm,  unexpectedly  over-ran  all  Europe,  with  a 
great  portion  of  Africa.  From  hence  proceeded  the  Danes 
who  annoyed  England,  and  the  Normans  who  conquered 
France,  both  nations  being  originally  derived  from  the  same 

The  Danes  had  not  appeared  in  England  for  some  time,  A,D-  890. 
and  therefore  they  now  resolved  to  take  so  sure  a  footing 
that  they  could  not  easily  be  repulsed.  Two  hundred  and 
fifty  sail  of  vessels  having  landed  the  troops  they  had  on 
board  at  Lymene,  in  Kent,  hard  by  the  great  forest  of 
Andreslege,  they  built  the  castle  of  Auldre  or  Apledore. 
At  the  same  time  Hasting,  with  a  fleet  of  eighty  sail,  ven- 
tured to  the  Thames  mouth,  and  built  the  castle  of  Mydl- 



ton,  having  first  made  an  oath  to  King  Alfred  not  to  molest 
him  or  any  of  his  subjects :  but  having  built  the  castle  of 
Beamfleet,  he  thought  he  had  obtained  so  much  strength 
that  there  was  no  necessity  of  observing  the  oath  he  had 
lately  sworn  to  King  Alfred,  and  therefore  invaded  the 
country  round  about  him ;  but  he  soon  found  his  mistake, 
and  was  forced  to  retire  to  his  castle,  which  was  quickly 
pulled  down,  and  his  wife  and  two  sons  taken  prisoners, 
who,  after  they  had  been  baptized  in  the  Christian  church, 
were  again  restored  to  their  father.  Upon  this  Hasting  and 
his  Danes  departed  from  England,  and  proceeded  to  France, 
where,  laying  siege  to  the  city  of  Limogis,  and  despairing 
of  a  speedy  surrender  of  it,  he  betook  himself  to  his  usual 
way  of  dealing  sinistrously,  and  plotted  this  device  to  win 
the  town :  He  feigned  himself  to  be  dangerously  sick,  and 
sent  to  the  bishop  and  the  consul  of  the  city,  desiring 
of  them  most  earnestly  that  he  might  be  admitted  to  the 
Christian  faith,  and  be  baptized  before  his  departure  out  of 
this  world.  The  bishop  and  consul,  suspecting  no  deceit, 
were  very  glad,  not  only  to  be  delivered  from  the  present 
danger  of  being  besieged,  but  also  to  win  so  great  a  person 
to  the  congregation  of  Christ.  Whereupon  a  peace  being 
concluded  betwixt  both  nations,  Hasting  was  baptized,  the 
bishop  and  consul  being  his  godfathers :  which  ceremony 
being  ended,  he  was  carried  back  by  his  soldiers  to  his 
ship,  in  a  very  infirm  condition,  as  he  outwardly  pretended. 
About  midnight  he  caused  himself,  with  his  arms  about 
him,  to  be  laid  on  a  bier,  and  commanded  his  soldiers  to 
carry  their  weapons  with  them  under  their  coats,  and  so  to 
be  ready  when  he  should  give  them  the  word.  The  next 
day,  all  things  being  in  readiness,  he  was  solemnly  brought 
by  his  soldiers,  with  great  clamour  and  counterfeit  mourn- 
ing, to  be  interred  in  the  chief  church  of  the  city,  where  the 
bishop  and  consul,  accompanied  by  all  the  most  honourable 
members  of  the  town,  came  to  honour  the  funeral;  but 
when  the  bishop  had  made  himself  ready  to  bury  the  body, 
and  all  the  citizens  were  in  the  church,  up  starts  Hasting 
with  his  sword  drawn,  and  killing  first  the  bishop  and  the 
consul,  afterwards  fell  in  with  his  armed  soldiers  upon  the 
naked  people,  putting  all  to  the  sword,  and  sparing  neither 
age,  sex,  nor  infirmity.  Having  ransacked  the  town,  he 
sent  messengers  to  Charles,  the  French  king,  to  mediate  for 
peace,  which  he  easily  obtained,  together  with  the  town  of 
Chartres  towards  the  defraying  of  his  charges. 

A.D.  891.      At  this  time  Hennith  ap  Bledric,  a  baron  of  Wales,  died ; 
893.     and  two  years  after,  Anarawd  Prince  of  North  Wales,  with 


a  considerable  number  of  English,  marched  against  his 
brother  Cadelh,  and  spoiled  the  countries  of  Cardigan  and 
Ystradgwy.*  At  the  same  time  the  Danes  laid  siege  to  the 
city  of  Exeter;  and  when  Alfred  had  marched  to  oppose 
them,  they  that  had  continued  in  the  castle  of  Auldre  passed 
over  to  Essex,  and  built  another  castle  at  Scobrith,  and 
from  thence  marched  to  Budington,  seated  upon  the  Severn. 
When  Alfred  came  near  to  Exeter,  the  Danes  immediately 
raised  the  siege,  and  betaking  themselves  to  their  ships, 
sailed  towards  Wales,  spoiled  the  sea-coast  thereof,  and 
advanced  as  far  as  Buellt. 

The  Danes  at  Budington  f  being  informed  that  King 
Alfred  was  marching  against  them,  fled  back  to  their  castle 
in  Essex,  so  *that  the  king  was  obliged  to  alter  his  march, 
and  to  direct  his  forces  against  Leicester,  where  a  party  of 
Danes  was  so  warmly  besieged,  that  at  length  they  were 
reduced  to  such  extremity  as  to  compel  them  to  feed  upon 
their  horses.  The  season  of  the  year  for  action,  however, 
being  ended,  and  the  severity  of  the  weather  being  extreme, 
Alfred  was  forced  to  raise  the  siege,  and  to  wait  the  next 
opportunity  for  the  recovery  of  the  town ;  but  before  he  A.  D.  895. 
could  besiege  it  again  the  Danes  had  quitted  it,  and,  toge- 
ther with  those  in  Northumberland,  proceeded  by  the 
North  Sea  to  Meresige,  an  isle  in  Essex.  The  next  year  896. 
they  entered  the  Thames,  and  built  a  castle  twenty  miles 
distant  from  London,  and  presuming  on  its  strength,  they 
ventured  to  spoil  and  waste  the  country  thereabouts  ;  but 
they  paid  very  dear  for  their  temerity ;  for,  being  accident- 
ally met  with,  they  were  completely  overthrown,  having  four 
of  their  princes  slain  upon  the  spot,  and  the  remainder  of 
their  forces  being  very  glad  to  make  their  escape  to  the 
castle.  Upon  this  Alfred  divided  the  river  into  three 
streams,  by  which  stratagem  the  water  became  so  diminished 
in  the  Thames  that  the  Danish  ships  could  not  return  back 
into  the  sea.  When  the  Danes  perceived  this,  and  found  it 
impracticable  to  escape  in  their  ships,  they  left  their  wives 
and  children  and  all  their  effects  in  Essex,  and  so  proceeded 
by  land  to  Enadbryge  upon  the  Severn,  and  then  passing 
the  river,  spoiled  the  countries  of  Brecknock,  Gwentland, 
and  Gwentlhwg.  Some  of  them,  at  the  same  time,  passed 
over  to  France  ;  and  another  body,  coasting  about  Devon- 
shire, destroyed  the  maritime  countries,  but  being  met  with 

D  2 

*  Chronicle  of  Wales. 

"t  A  village  pleasantly  situated  on  the  banks  of  the  Severn,  about  two  miles  from 
Welshpool  on  the  Salop  road,  now  called  Buttington. 


by  the  English,  lost  six  of  their  ships  in  the  conflict  that 
took  place. 

A.  D.  897.  The  following  summer  the  kingdom  of  Ireland  suffered 
extremely  by  locusts,  which  consumed  all  the  com  and  all 
the  grass  throughout  the  whole  country ;  in  consequence  of 
which  public  prayers  and  fasting  were  directed  for  their 
destruction.  These  reptiles  are  common  in  Africa  and 
other  hot  regions,  but  are  seldom  seen  in  colder  climates ; 
and  when  they  happen  to  travel  so  far,  they  are,  as  else- 
where, very  pestilential  and  destructive  to  the  country  in 
which  they  deposit  themselves. 

900.  This  year  Igmond,  with  a  great  number  of  Danes,  landed 
in  Anglesey,  and  was  met  with  by  the  Welsh  at  a  place 
called  Molerain,  where  Merfyn*  was  slain;  though  others 
call  it  Meilon,  and,  from  the  battle  fought  there,  Maes  Rhos 
Meilon.  The  same  year  King  Alfred  died,  who  directed 
the  translation  of  the  ancient  laws  of  Dyfhwal  Moelmut, 
King  of  Britain,  and  the  laws  of  Queen  Marsia,  out  of 
British  into  English,  and  called  it  Marsian  law,  which  was 
afterwards  called  West  Saxon  law,  and  observed  in  part  of 
Mercia,  with  all  the  countries  south  of  Thames  ;  the  other 
part  of  the  country  having  another  law  called  Dane  Lex ; 
both  of  which  remained  to  the  time  of  Edward  the  Confessor, 
which  latter  sovereign  out  of  these  two  made  one  law.  It  is 
related  of  King  Alfred  that  he  divided  the  natural  day  into 
three  parts — the  first  he  set  apart  for  devotion  and  study, 
the  next  for  the  affairs  of  the  commonwealth,  and  the  third 
for  his  own  rest  and  refreshment. 

Alfred  being  dead,  Edward,  his  eldest  son,  took  upon 
him  the  crown,  which  so  displeased  the  ambitious  spirit  of 
his  brother  Adelwulph,  that  he  immediately  raised  a  cruel 
war  against  him,  and  proceeding  to  Northumberland,  stirred 
up  the  Danes  against  his  brother  Edward.  The  Danes  were 
glad  of  the  opportunity,  which  afforded  a  plausible  pretence 
for  rendering  themselves  masters  of  the  whole  island ;  and 
therefore  Adelwulph  was  declared  king,  as  well  of  the 
Angles  as  of  the  Danes,  who  by  this  time  were  grown  to  be, 
as  it  were,  one  people.  Marching  then  proudly  with  a  very 
considerable  army  at  his  heels,  Adelwulph  subdued  the 
East  Saxons,  spoiled  the  country  of  Mercia,  and  passing 
over  the  Thames  at  Crickland,  destroyed  Brythend,  and 
returned  home  with  very  great  booty.  At  the  same  time 
Euneth  was  slain  in  Arwystly.  Edward  being  informed  of 
his  brother's  retreat,  pursued  him  eagerly,  and,  missing 
him,  over-ran  and  destroyed  all  the  country  betwixt  Ouse 


*  Prince  of  Powys. 


and  the  Dike  of  St.  Edmund,  and  then  returned  home  with 
his  whole  army,  excepting  the  Kentish  men,  who  being  too 
greedy  of  plunder,  rashly  tarried  behind.  The  Danes  per- 
ceiving the  body  of  the  army  to  be  returned,  and  that  a 
small  party  still  continued  to  ravage  the  country,  attacked 
the  Kentish  men,  slew  a  great  number  of  them,  and  put  the 
rest  to  a  shameful  flight.  Nor  were  the  Danes  only  power- 
ful in  England,  but  they  molested  and  grew  prevalent  in 
Ireland :  for  this  year  they  entered  that  kingdom,  slew  A.  D.  905. 
Carmot,  king  and  bishop  of  all  Ireland,  a  religious  and 
virtuous  person,  the  son  of  Gukeman ;  and  Kyrnalt,  the  son 
of  Murgan  King  of  Lagines.  The  next  year  died  Asser,  906. 
Archbishop  of  St.  David's,  uncle  to  the  famous  and  learned 
Asser,  surhamed  Menevensis  ;  who,  being  chancellor  to  his 
uncle,  the  archbishop,  was  sent  for  by  King  Alfred  to 
instruct  his  children,  whose  life  he  afterwards  wrote,  and 
was  made  bishop  of  Shireburn. 

Edward,  to  force  his  brother  from  his  country,  and  to 
revenge  the  death  of  the  Kentishmen,  dispatched  an  army 
to  Northumberland,  which  having  destroyed  the  country 
returned  home :  upon  which  the  Danes,  as  a  return  for  this 
inroad,  destroyed  a  great  part  of  Mercia :  but  within  a  short 
time  after,  Edward,  having  raised  a  very  considerable  army, 
gave  the  Danes  battle,  overthrew  them,  and  slew  their  kings 
Alden  and  Edelwulph,  with  a  great  number  of  their  nobles. 
This  added  much  to  his  dominions,  which  were  the  more 
increased  and  strengthened  by  the  addition  of  the  cities  of 
London  and  Oxford ;  which,  upon  the  death  of  Edelred 
Duke  of  Mercia,  Edward  took  into  his  own  hands,  permit- 
ting his  widow  Elfleda  to  enjoy  the  rest  of  Edelred's 
dukedom.  Shortly  after,  Cadelh  Prince  of  South  Wales 
died,  leaving  three  sons-~-Howel  I)ha,*  or  the  Good  (who  907. 
suceeded  his  father),  Meyric,  and  Clydawc.  King  Edward 
having  obtained  so  signal  a  victory  over  the  Danes,  and 
rendered  his  kingdom  for  some  time  quiet,  began  to  build 
places  of  strength,  which  might  be  serviceable  against  a 
future  occasion.  He  built  a  castle  at  Hertford,  betwixt  the 
rivers  Benefic,  Minier,  and  Lige;  he  also  established  the 
borough  of  Wytham  in  Essex ;  and  continued  some  time  in 
Wealdyne,  to  keep  those  countries  in  awe.  In  spite,  how- 
ever, of  all  this  precaution,  the  Danes  of  Leycester  and 
Hampton  began  the  following  year  to  be  very  troublesome, 


*  Howel  Dha,  the  Welsh  Justinian,  was,  according  to  the  Triades,  ranked  with  Pry  (lain 
and  Dyfnwal  under  the  appellation  of  the  three  good  princes  of  Britain. — In  the  Triades, 
Anarawd  and  his  brothers  have  the  appellation  of  the  th.ree  diademed  princes;  they  were 
also  called  the  three  bandlet-weAring  kings  of  the  Isle  of  Britain,  and  the  three  bandlet- 
wearing  princes. 


slew  a  great  number  of  English  at  Hotchnorton,  and  in  their 
return  homeward  destroyed    the    country   about  Oxford. 
About  the  same  time  a  considerable  fleet  from  Tydwike, 
under  the  command  of  Uther  and  Ranald,  sailed  by  the 
western  sea  to  Wales,  and  destroyed  St.  David's ;  at  which 
place  was  fought  the  battle  of  Dinarth,  where  Mayloc,  the 
son  of  Peredur  Gam,  was  slain.      After  this  they  entered 
A.D.  911.  Herefordshire,  where,  in  another  encounter,  Rahald  was 
slain,  and  the  remains  of  his  troops  were  compelled  to  swear 
they  would  quit  the  king's  land,  and  never  return  any  more 
to  England.     King  Edward,  to  prevent  any  future  disturb- 
ance from  such  open  invaders,  caused  a  strong  army  to  be 
quartered  upon  the  south  side  of  Severn ;    but  the  Danes, 
notwithstanding  all  his  efforts,  entered  twice  into  his  coun- 
try, once  at  Werd,  and  then  at  Portogan,  but  were  each 
time  overthrown  by  the  English.      On  their  departure  they 
proceeded  to  the  Isle  of  Stepen,  whence  they  were  forced 
by  hunger  to  sail  to  South  Wales,  intending  to  make  a 
considerable  prey  of  that  country ;  but  failing  of  their  aim, 
they  were  constrained  to  make  the  best  of  their  way  for 
Ireland.      The  next  year  a  party  of  Danes  fought  a  very 
severe  battle  with  the  Kentish  men  at  Holm,  but  which 
party  obtained  the  victory  is  not  certainly  known.     About 
913.  the  same  time,  Anarawd  Prince  of   North  Wales  died, 
leaving  two  sons,  Edwal  Foel  and  Elis,  and  some  say  a 
third,  named  Meyric. 


913.  AFTER  the  death  of  Anarawd,  his  eldest  son,  Edwal 
Foel,  took  upon  him  the  government  of  North  Wales, 
Howel  Dha  holding  the  principality  of  South  Wales  and 
Powys.  At  this  time  a  great  comet  appeared  in  the  hea- 
vens. The  same  year  the  city  of  Chester,  which  had  been 
destroyed  by  the  Danes,  was,  by  the  procurement  of  Elfleda, 
new  built  and  repaired,  as  the  ancient  records  of  that  city 
testify.  This  in  the  ancient  copy  is  called  Leycester,  by  an 
easy  mistake  for  Legecestria  or  Chester,  called  by  the 
Romans  Legionum  Cestria.  The  next  summer  the  men  of 
Dublin  laid  waste  the  Isle  of  Anglesey,f  and  soon  after 
Clydawc,  the  son  of  Cadelh,  was  unnaturally  slain  by  his 


*  He  married  the  daughter  of  his  uncle  Mervyn,  the  late  Prince  of  Powys.— Brit.  Ant. 
Revived,  hy  Mr.  R.  Vaughan,  of  Hengwrt,  f.  4. 

f  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  45-47. 


brother  Meyric,  about  the  same  time  that  the  Danes  were 
completely  overthrown  by  the  English  at  Tottenhale.  But 
Elfleda  did  not  long  survive  the  rebuilding  of  the  city  of 
Chester.  She  was  a  woman  of  singular  virtues,  and  one  that 
greatly  strengthened  the  kingdom  of  Mercia  by  building 
towns  and  castles  against  the  incursions  of  the  Danes ;  as 
Strengat  and  Bruge,  by  the  forest  of  Morph,  Tarn  worth, 
Stafford,  Edelburgh,  Cherenburgh,  Wadeburgh,  and  Run- 
cofe;  after  which  she  entered  with  her  whole  army  into 
Wales,  won  Brecknock,  and  took  the  queen  with  thirty-three 
of  her  attendants  prisoners ;  which  affair  in  Welsh  is  called 
"  Gwaith  y  Ddinas  Newydd,"  or  the  Battle  of  the  New 
City.  From  thence  she  marched  for  Derby,  which  she 
took  from  the  Danes,  losing,  however,  four  of  her  chief 
commanders  in  the  action. 

The  occasion  of  these  two  expeditions,  according  to  some, 
was  this  :  Huganus,  Lord  of  West  Wales,  perceiving  King 
Edward  to  be  wholly  engaged  by  the  Danish  war,  gathered 
an  army  of  Britons,  and  entering  England,  destroyed  the 
king's  country.  Upon  the  news  of  this  reaching  Elfleda, 
she  came  to  Wales  with  a  great  army,  fought  with  the 
Welsh  at  Brecknock,  and  putting  Huganus  to  flight,  took 
his  wife  and  some  of  his  men  prisoners,  whom  she  carried 
with  her  to  Mercia.  Huganus  being  thus  defeated,  fled  to 
Derby,  and  being  there  kindly  received,  joined  himself  with 
the  king's  enemies,  the  Danes.  Elfleda  being  informed  of 
that,  followed  him  with  her  army  ;  but  in  storming  the 
gates  of  the  town,  had  four  of  her  best  officers  killed  by 
Huganus.  But  Gwyane,  Lord  of  the  Isle  of  Ely,  her 
steward,  setting  fire  to  the  gates,  furiously  attacked  the 
Britons  and  entered  the  town ;  upon  which  Huganus,  per- 
ceiving himself  over-matched,  chose  rather  to  fall  by  the 
sword  than  cowardly  to  yield  himself  to  a  woman.  The 
next  year  Elfleda  laid  siege  to  the  city  of  Leicester,  which 
was  quickly  surrendered,  and  the  Danes  therein  completely 
subdued.  The  fame  of  these  several  actions  being  noised 
abroad,  her  neighbours  became  fearful  and  timorous ;  and 
the  Yorkshiremen  voluntarily  did  her  homage,  and  proffered 
their  service.  She  died  at  Tamwortii,  after  eight  years' 
rule  over  Mercia,  and  lies  buried  at  Gloucester,  by  St. 

After  the  death  of  Elfleda,  King  Edward  most  ungratefully 
disinherited  her  daughter,  Alfwyen,  and  entering  into  Mer- 
cia, took  all  the  province  into  his  own  hands,  upon  pretence 
that  she,  without  his  knowledge  (whom  her  mother  had 
appointed  her  guardian),  had  privily  promised  and  con- 


traded  marriage  with  Raynald  King  of  the  Danes.  This 
unjust  and  unnatural  action  of  King  Edward's  possibly 
brought  upon  him  those  great  troubles  which  afterwards 
ensued.  For  Leofred,  a  Dane,  and  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc, 
brother-in-law  to  the  Prince  of  West  Wales,  came  from 
Ireland  with  a  great  army  to  Snowdon,  and  intending  to 
bring  all  Wales  and  the  marches  thereof  to  their  subjection, 
over-ran  and  subdued  all  the  country  to  Chester  before  King 
Edward  was  informed  of  their  arrival :  whereat  being  much 
offended,  and  unwilling  to  call  upon  his  subjects  for  aid,  he 
vowed  that  himself  and  his  sons,  with  their  own  followers 
only,  would  be  revenged  upon  Leofred  and  Gruffydh ;  and 
thereupon  marching  to  Chester,  took  the  city  from  them. 
Then  he  separated  his  army  into  two  divisions,  whereof  he 
and  his  son  Athelstane  led  the  first,  Edmund  and  Edred 
the  second,  and  followed  the  enemy  so  close,  that  he  over- 
took them  at  the  forest  of  Walewode  (now  Sherwode), 
where  Leofred  and  Gruffydh  turned  upon  them  so  fiercely 
that  the  king  at  first  was  in  some  danger ;  until  Athelstane 
stepped  in  and  wounded  the  Dane  in  the  arm  so  severely, 
that  being  no  longer  able  to  hold  his  spear,  he  was  taken 
prisoner,  and  committed  to  the  custody  of  Athelstane.  In 
the  mean  time,  Edmund  and  Edred,  encountering  with 
Gruffydh,  slew  him,  and  brought  his  head  to  their  father ; 
and  Leofred's  head  being  likewise  cut  off,  they  were  both 
set  up  in  the  city  of  Chester ;  and  then  Edward,  together 
with  his  sons,  triumphantly  returned  home.  King  Edward, 
A.D.  924,  having  built  Glademutham,  soon  afterwards  died  at  Faran- 
don,  and  his  son  Alfred  expired  at  the  same  time  at  Oxford, 
and  they  were  both  buried  at  Winchester. 

Edward  being  dead,  his  illegitimate  son  Athelstane,  who 
had  given  evidence  of  great  talents,  was  advanced  to  the 
throne;  being  the  worthiest  prince  of  the  Saxon  blood  that 
ever  reigned.  He  overcame  Cudfry  d,  father  of  Raynald,  King 
of  the  Danes,  at  York,  and  the  country  being  invaded  by 
Hawlaf,  King  of  Ireland,  who  with  all  the  power  of  the  Scots 
and  Danes  marched  against  him,  Athelstane  gave  him  battle 
at  Brimestbury,  and  obtained  a  signal  victory,  KingHawlaf, 
together  with  the  King  of  the  Scots,  and  five  Kings  of  the 
Danes  and  Normans,  being  slain  upon  the  spot ;  so  that  the 
whole  country  of  England  and  Scotland  became  subject  to 
him,  a  degree  of  power  which  none  of  his  predecessors  had 
attempted  to  possess. 

S33.  Sometime  after,  Owen,  the  son  of  Gruffydh,  was  slain  by 
the  men  of  Cardigan:  and  then  Athelstane,  entering  with 
his  army  into  Wales,  forced  the  princes  thereof  to  consent 



to  pay  a  yearly  tribute  of  £20  in  gold,  £300  in  silver, 
200*  head  of  cattle;  which,  however,  was  not  observed,  as 
appears  by  the  laws  of  Howel  Dha,  wherein  it  is  appointed, 
that  the  Prince  of  Abertfraw  should  pay  no  more  to  the 
King  of  London  than  £66  tribute;  and  that  the  Princes  of 
Dinefawr  and  Powys  should  pay  the  like  sum  to  the  Prince 
of  Aberffraw.  King  Athelstane  was  not  less  terrible  abroad, 
than  he  was  reverenced  at  home,  the  Kings  of  France  and 
Norway  sending  him  very  great  and  costly  presents,  to 
obtain  his  favour  and  to  ensure  his  good-will. 

This  year,  Euneth,  the  son  of  Clydawc,  and  Meyric,  the  A.D.  936. 
son  of  Cadelh,  died.  At  the  same  time,  King  Athelstane 
removed  the  Britons  who  lived  at  Exeter  and  the  neigh- 
bouring country  into  Cornwall,  bounding  them  by  the  river 
Cambria  (now  Tamar),  as  the  Britons  of  Wales  with  the  939. 
Wye.  Not  long  after,  the  noble  Prince  Athelstane  died,  to 
the  great  and  inexpressible  sorrow  of  all  his  subjects,  and 
was  buried  at  Malmesbury.  He  was  succeeded  by  his 
brother  Edmund,  not  inferior  to  him  in  courage,  and  pre- 
ferable by  right  of  nativity,  being  born  in  wedlock.  In  the 
first  year  of  his  reign,  he  gave  a  very  considerable  blow  to 
the  Danes,  took  from  them  the  towns  of  Leicester,  Derby, 
Stafford,  Lincoln,  and  Nottingham;  on  which  Aulate, 
King  of  the  Danes,  finding  it  impracticable  to  withstand 
the  force  of  King  Edmund,  desired  peace,  and  withal  to  be 
initiated  into  the  Christian  Faith ;  this  was  granted,  and  all 
the  Danes  received  baptism,  King  Edmund  standing  god- 
father at  the  font:  after  which,  both  parties  concluded 
peace,  and  Edmund  honourably  returned  to  West  Saxony. 

The  same  year  died  Abloic,  chief  King  of  Ireland :  and 
the  year  following,  Cadelh,  the  son  of  Arthual,  a  nobleman 
of  Wales,  was,  for  reasons  not  known,  imprisoned  by  the 
English.  To  revenge  this  indignity,  Edwal  Foel  and 
his  brother  Elis  gathered  their  forces  together  and  fought 
against  the  English  and  Danes,  but  were  both  unhappily 
slain. f 

This  Edwal  Foel  had  six  sons,T— Meyric,  levaf,  lago, 
Conan,  Edwal  Fychan,  and  Roderic:  and  his  brother  Elis 
had  issue  Conan,  and  a  daughter  named  Trawst,J  the 
mother  of  Conan  ap  Sitsylht,  Gruffydh  ap  Sitsylht,  and 
Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  which  two  last  were  afterwards  Princes 
of  Wales.  HOWEL 

*  According  to  Warrington's  History  of  Wales  (vol.  i.  f.  235),  two  thousand  five 
hnndred  head  of  cattle. — See  Brompton's  Chrou.  p.  838,  with  respect  to  the  tribute,  with 
the  difference  only  of  doubling  the  number  of  cattle ;  Stowe's  Chron.  p.  82  ;  Welsh  Chron. 
p.  50  3  Grafton's  Chron.  p.  149,  published  Ann.  15.69. 

t  Welsh  Chron.  51. 
I  Welsh  Chron.  p.  51— British  Antiq.  Revived  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  14. 



A.D.  940.  OWEL  DHA  had  been  for  a  considerable  time  Prince 
of  South  Wales  and  Powys,  which  government  he  had  so 
justly  and  discreetly  conducted,  that  upon  the  death  of 
Edwal  Foel  he  was  preferred  to  the  entire  Principality  of 
Wales,  notwithstanding  Edwal  had  left  behind  him  several 
sons,  who  at  first  murmured  at  and  resented  the  election  of 
Howel  Dha.  The  first  thing  he  did  was  to  enact  whole- 
some laws  for  the  benefit  of  his  country,  which  laws  were 
in  force  in  Wales  until  the  time  of  Edward  I.  when  the 
Welsh  received  the  laws  of  England,  yet  not  so  generally, 
but  that  in  some  places  these  continued  long  after,  and  are 
still  to  be  read  in  the  Welsh  and  Latin  tongues  :  for  Howel 
Dha,  perceiving  the  laws  and  customs  of  his  country  to  have 
given  rise  to  great  abuse,  sent  for  the  Archbishop  of  Mene- 
via,  with  the  rest  of  the  bishops  and  chief  clergy,  to  the 
number  of  one  hundred  and  forty,  and  all  the  barons  and 
nobles  of  Wales,  and  ordered  that  six  of  the  wisest  and  most 
esteemed  persons  in  every  commote  should  be  cited  before 
him,  at  his  palace,  called  y  Ty  Gwyn  ar  Taf,*  or  the  White 
House  upon  the  river  Taf.  Thither  coming  himself,  he 
remained  with  his  nobles,  prelates,  and  subjects  for  all  the 
Lent,  using  prayers  and  fasting,  and  imploring  the  assistance 
and  direction  of  God's  Holy  Spirit,  that  he  might  reform 
the  laws  and  customs  of  the  country  of  Wales,  to  the  ho- 
nour of  God  and  the  peaceable  government  of  his  subjects. 
Towards  the  end  of  Lent  he  chose  out  of  that  assembly 
twelve  of  the  wisest  and  gravest,  and  persons  of  the  greatest 
experience,  to  whom  he  added  Blegored,f  a  man  of  singular 
learning,  and  one  eminently  versed  in  the  laws.  To  these 
he  gave  commission  to  examine  the  ancient  laws  and  customs 
of  Wales,  and  to  collect  out  of  them  what  was  requisite 
towards  the  government  of  the  country;  accordingly  they 
retained  those  that  were  wholesome  and  profitable,  ex- 
pounded those  that  were  doubtful  and  ambiguous,  and 
abrogated  such  as  were  superfluous  or  injurious  classes.ij: 
The  laws  thus  framed  were  distinguished  into  three  classes  : 
the  first  concerned  the  order  and  regulation  of  the  king's 


*  Belonging  to  King  Howel.  —  Welsh  CLron.  p.  53. 

f  Blegored  or  Blegwryd  was  Chancellor  of  Llandaff,  and  brother  of  Morgan,  King 
of  Morganwg,  and  was  considered  the  greatest  scholar  of  his  time  in  Wales. 

J  The  system  was  formed  on  the  basis  of  the  ancient  national  laws,  said  to  have  been 
originally  framed  by  Moelmutius,  who  reigned  in  Britain  441  years  before  Christ.  — 
Holinshead,  p.  177. 


household  and  court ;  the  second  the  affairs  of  the  country 
and  commonwealth;  and  the  last  had  regard  to  special 
customs  belonging  to  particular  persons  and  places; — all 
which  being  publicly  proclaimed  and  generally  allowed, 
Prince  Howel  ordered  three  copies  to  be  written;  one  for 
his  own  use,  another  to  be  laid  up  at  his  palace  of  Aber- 
ffraw,  and  the  third  at  Dinefawr;  so  that  the  three  pro- 
vinces of  Wales  might  have  easy  recourse  to  either  of  them, 
when  occasion  required:  and  for  the  better  observation  of 
these  laws  he  caused  the  Archbishop  of  St.  David  to 
denounce  sentence  of  excommunication  against  all  such  of 
his  subjects  as  would  not  obey  the  same. 

Within  a  short  time  after,  Howel,  to  omit  nothing  that 
might  give  countenance  or  authority  to  these  laws,  accom- 
panied by  Lambert,  Archbishop  of  St.  David,  Mordaf, 
Bishop  of  Bangor,  and  Chebur  of  St.  Asaph,  and  thirteen 
of  the  most  prudent  and  learned  persons  in  Wales,  took  a 
journey  to  Rome,  where  the  said  laws  being  recited  before 
the  Pope,  were  by  his  Holiness  ratified  and  confirmed: 
after  which,  Howel,  with  all  his  retinue,  returned  home  to 
his  country.* 

The  particulars  of  these  laws  are  too  numerous  to  be 
here  inserted  ;f  but  it  may  be  observed,  that  all  matters  of 
inheritance  of  land  were  determined  and  adjudged  by  the 
prince  in  person ;  or,  if  sick,  by  his  special  deputy ;  and 
that  upon  view  of  the  same  land,  citing  together  the  free- 
holders of  that  place,  two  elders  of  his  council,  the  chief 
justice  always  attending  in  the  court,  the  ordinary  judge  of 
the  country  where  the  land  lay,  and  the  priest.  The  method 
of  their  proceeding  was  in  this  manner: 

The  prince  sat  in  his  judicial  seat  above  the  rest  of  the 
court,  with  an  elder  on  each  hand,  next  to  whom  the  free- 
holders on  both  sides,  who  upon  that  account  were  probably 
called  Uchelwyr.  Below  the  prince,  at  a  certain  distance, 
sat  the  chief  justice,  having  the  priest  on  his  right  hand 
and  the  ordinary  judge  of  the  country  concerned  upon  the 
left.  The  court  being  thus  formed,  the  plaintiff  with  his 
advocate,  champion,  and  Rhingylh  or  sergeant,  stood  on 
the  left  side  of  the  court,  as  did  the  defendant  in  like  man- 
ner on  the  right :  and  lastly,  the  witnesses  on  both  sides 
appeared,  and  stood  at  the  lower  end  of  the  hall,  directly 
opposite  to  the  chief  justice,  to  testify  the  best  of  their 
knowledge  in  the  matter  in  debate.  After  taking  the 
depositions  of  the  witnesses,  and  a  full  pleading  of  the 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  54 
f  Vide  Topographical  Notices  in  vol.  2  of  this  work. 


cause  in  open  court,  upon  notice  given  by  the  sergeant,  the 
chief  justice,  the  priest,  and  the  ordinary  judge,  withdrew 
themselves  for  a  while,  to  consult  of  the  matter ;  and  then, 
secundum  allegata  et  probata,  brought  in  their  verdict. 
Whereupon  the  prince,  after  consultation  had  with  the 
elders  that  sat  next  him,  gave  definite  sentence ;  excepting 
the  cause  was  so  obscure  and  intricate  that  the  justice  of  it 
could  not  be  made  apparent,  and  then  the  two  champions 
put  an  end  to  the  controversy  by  combat. 

Whilst  Howel  Dha  was  thus  regulating  the  customs,  and 
meliorating  the  laws  and  constitutions  of  Wales,  Aulafe 
and  Reginald,  Kings  of  the  Danes,  forcibly  entered  the 
country  of  King  Edmund,  who  being  annoyed  by  their 
incessant  hostility,  gathered  his  forces  together,  and  (as 
some  say),  by  the  help  of  Lhewelyn  ap  Sitsylht,  who  was 
afterwards  Prince  of  Wales,  followed  them  to  North- 
umberland, and  having  overcome  them  in  a  pitched  battle, 
utterly  drove  them  out  of  his  kingdom,  and  remained  a 
whole  year  in  those  parts  to  regulate  and  bring  that  country 
to  quiet  subjection :  but  finding  it  impracticable  to  reduce 
the  inhabitants  of  Cumberland  to  any  peaceable  condition, 
he  spoiled  and  wasted  the  country,  and  gave  it  up  to 
Malcolm  King  of  Scotland,  upon  condition  that  he  should 
send  him  succours  in  his  wars  whenever  demanded  of  him. 
A.D.  942.  In  the  mean  time  the  Welsh  had  but  little  occasion  to 
rejoice ;  Hubert  Bishop  of  St.  David,  Marclois  Bishop  of 
944.  Bangor,  and  Ussa  the  son  of  Lhafyr,  died :  and  shortly  after, 
the  English  entering  into  Wales  with  a  very  strong  army, 
put  the  inhabitants  into  a  great  consternation;  but  being 
satisfied  with  the  destruction  and  spoil  of  Strat  Clwyd,  they 
returned  home  without  doing  any  more  mischief.  At  the 
same  time  Conan  the  son  of  Elis  narrowly  escaped  being 
treacherously  put  to  death  by  poison;  and  Evei'us  Bishop 
of  St.  David  died.  The  next  year  Edmund  King  of  Eng- 
land was  unhappily  slain  upon  St.  Augustine's  day ;  but  the 
manner  of  his  death  is  variously  stated ;  some  say,  that 
discovering  a  noted  thief,  who  was  outlawed,  sitting  among 
his  guests,  being  transported  with  indignation  against  so 
daring  a  villain,  he  ran  upon  him  very  furiously :  the  out- 
law expecting  nothing  less  than  death,  determined  to  die 
revenged,  and  therefore  with  a  short  dagger  gave  the  king  a 
mortal  wound  in  the  breast.  Others  report,  that  as  the 
king  would  have  rescued  a  servant  of  his  from  an  officer  that 
had  arrested  him,  he  was  unwittingly  and  unhappily  slain 
by  the  same.  However  his  death  happened,  he  lies  buried 
at  Glastonbury,  and  his  brother  Edrcd  was  crowned  King 



of  England,  who,  as  soon  as  he  had  entered  upon  his 
government,  made  an  expedition  against  Scotland  and 
Northumberland,  which  being  subdued,  he  received  fealty 
and  homage  (by  oath)  of  the  Scots  and  Northumbrians; 
an  undertaking  that  they  did  not  long  observe.  In  a  short 
time,  Howel  Dha,  after  a  long  and  peaceable  reign  over  A.  D.  948. 
Wales,  died,  much  lamented  by  all  his  subjects,  being  a 
prince  of  a  religious  and  virtuous  inclination,  and  one  that 
ever  regarded  the  welfare  and  prosperity  of  his  people. 
He  left  issue, — Owen,  Run,  Roderic,  and  Edwyn,  betwixt 
whom  and  the  sons  of  Edwal  Foel,*  late  Prince  of  North 
Wales,  great  wars  and  commotions  subsequently  arose  as  to 
the  chief  rule  and  government  of  Wales. 

The  sons  of  Howel  Dha,  as  some  writers  record,  were 
these,  viz.  Owen  who  did  not  long  survive  his  father, 
Eineon,  Meredyth,  Dyfnwal,  and  Rodri,  the  two  last  of 
whom,  as  is  believed,  were  slain  in  the  battle  fought  near 
Lhanrwst  in  the  year  952,  by  the  sons  of  Edwal  Foel ;  Run, 
Lord  of  Cardigan,  who  was  slain  before  the  death  of  his 
father;  Conan  y  Cwn,  who  possessed  Anglesey;  Edwin, 
who  was  also  slain,  as  is  supposed,  in  the  beforementioned 
battle.  There  was  also  another  battle  fought  betwixt 
Howel  and  Conan  ap  Edwal  Foel  for  the  Isle  of  Anglesey, 
wherein  Conan  fell ;  and  Gruffydh  his  son  renewing  the  war, 
was  likewise  overcome ;  and  so  Cyngar,  a  powerful  person, 
being  driven  out  of  the  island,  Howel  enjoyed  quiet  posses- 
sion thereof,  and  of  the  rest  of  Gwynedh.  It  is  conjectured 
that  this  Howel  Dha  was  chosen  governor  of  Wales,  during 
the  minority  of  his  uncle  Anarawd's  sons,  who,  at  the  death 
of  their  father,  were  too  young  to  manage  the  principality; 
which  he  kept  till  his  return  from  Rome,  at  which  time, 
Edwal  Foel  being  come  of  age,  he  resigned  to  him  the 
kingdom  of  Gwynedh  or  North  Wales,  together  with  the 
sovereignty  of  all  Wales.  Before  which  time  Howel  is 
styled  Brenhin  Cymry  oil,  that  is,  King  of  all  Wales,  as  is 
seen  in  the  preface  to  that  body  of  laws  compiled  by  him. 



AFTER  the  death  of  Howel  Dha,  his  sons  divided 
betwixt  them  the  principalities  of  South  Wales  and 
Powys;  laying  no  claim  to  North  Wales,  though  their 
father  had  been  a  general  Prince  of  all  Wales.  But  levaf 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  58. 


and  lago,  the  sons  of  Edwal  Foel,  having  put  by  their  elder 
brother  Meyric,*  as  a  person  incapable  of  government,  and 
being  dissatisfied  with   the  rule  of   North  Wales    only, 
imagined  that  the  principality  of  all  Wales  was  their  right, 
as  descending  from  the   elder  house ;  which   the  sons  of 
Howel  Dha  denied  them.     Indeed,  they  had  been  wrong- 
fully kept  out  of  the  government  of  North  Wales  during  the 
reign  of  Howel ;  in  whose  time  the  recovery  of  their  own 
was  impracticable,  by  reason  that,  for  his  moderation  and 
other  good  qualities,  he  had  attracted  to  himself  the  uni- 
versal love  of  all  the  Welsh.     But  now,  he  being  gone,  they 
were  resolved  to  revenge  the  injury  received  from  him  upon 
his  sons :  and  upon  a  small  pretence,  they  endeavoured  to 
reduce  the  whole  country  of  Wales  to  their  own  subjection, 
levaf  and  lago  were  indeed    descended    from  the  elder 
branch ;  but  since  Roderic  the  Great  conferred  the  prin- 
cipality of  South  Wales  upon  his  younger  son  Cadelh,  the 
father  of  Howel  Dha,  it  was  but  just  his  sons  should  enjoy 
what  had  legally  descended  to  them  from  their  father: 
ambition,  however,  seldom  gives  place  to  equity ;  and  there- 
fore, right  or  wrong,  levaf  and  lago  would  have  a  contest 
for  South  Wales,  which  they  entered  with  a  great  army ; 
and  being  opposed,  they  obtained  a  victory  over  Owen  and 
his  brethren  the  sons  of  Howel,  at  the  hills  of  Carno.f 
A.D.  950.  The  next  year  the  two  brothers  entered  twice  into  South 
Wales,  destroyed  and  wasted  Dyfet,  and  slew  Dwnwalhon 

951.  Lord  of  the  country  :  shortly  after  which,  Roderic,  the  third 

952.  son  of  Howel  Dha,  died.     His  brethren  perceiving  the 
folly  of  standing  only  upon  the  defensive,  mustered  all  their 
forces  together,  and  entering  North  W  ales,  marched  as  far 
as    Lhanrwst   upon   the   river   Conwy;    where  levaf  and 
lago  met  them.     A  very  sanguinary  battle  ensued  upon  this, 
and  a  great  number  were  slain  on  both  sides,  among  whom 
were  Anarawd  the  son  of  Gwyriad,  the  son  of  Roderic  the 
Great ;  and  Edwyn  the  son  of  Howel  Dha.     But  victory 
favoured  the  brothers  levaf  and  lago  ;  so  that  the  Princes 
of  South  Wales  were  obliged  to  retire  to  Cardiganshire, 
whither  they  were  warmly  pursued;  and  that  country  was 

953.  severely  harassed  by  fire  and    sword.J      The  next  year 
Merfyn  was  unhappily  drowned ;  and  shortly  after  Congelach 
King  of  Ireland  was  slain. 

The  Scots  and  Northumbrians  having  lately  sworn 
allegiance  to  King  Edred,  he  had  scarcely  returned  to  his 
own  country,  before  Aulafe,  with  a  great  army,  landed  in 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  59  and  60.  f  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  59  and  60. 

t  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  60  and  61. 


Northumberland,  and  was  with  much  rejoicing  received  by 
the  inhabitants.  Before,  however,  he  could  secure  himself 
in  the  government,  he  was  ignominiously  banished  the 
country  ;  and  the  Northumbrians  elected  one  Hircius,  the 
son  of  Harold,  for  their  king.  But  to  shew  the  inconstancy 
of  an  unsettled  multitude,  they  soon  grew  weary  of  Hircius, 
and  after  a  period  of  three  years  expelled  him,  and  volun- 
tarily submitted  themselves  to  Edred,  who,  after  he  had 
reigned  eight  years,  died,  and  was  buried  at  Winchester. 
To  him  succeeded  Edwin  the  son  of  Edmund,  a  man  so 
immoderately  given  to  the  gratification  of  his  passions  that 
he  forcibly  married  another  man's  wife;  for  which,  and 
other  irregularities,  his  subjects,  after  four  years'  reign,  set 
up  his  brother  Edgar,  who  was  crowned  in  his  stead ;  which 
so  much  grieved  Edwin,  that  he  soon  ended  his  days.  The 
summer,  that  same  year,  proved  so  extremely  hot,  that  it  A.  D.  958. 
caused  a  dreadful  plague  in  the  following  spring,  which 
swept  away  a  great  number  of  people ;  before  which,  Gwgan 
the  son  of  Gwyriad  the  son  of  Roderic  died.  At  this  time, 
levaf  and  lago  forcibly  managed  the  government  of  all 
Wales,  and  acted  according  to  their  own  pleasure,  no  one 
daring  to  confront  or  resist  them.  But  notwithstanding  all 
their  power,  the  sons  of  Abloic  King  of  Ireland,  ventured 
to  land  in  Anglesey ;  and  having  burnt  Holyhead,  wasted 
the  country  of  Lhyn.  The  sons  of  Edwyn  the  son  of 
Colhoyn,  also  wasted  and  ravaged  all  the  country  to  Towyn, 
where  they  were  intercepted  and  slain.  About  the  same  9<H- 
time  died  Meyric  the  son  of  Cadfan,  Rytherch  bishop  of 
St.  David's,  and  Cadwalhon  ap  Owen.  Not  long  after,  the 
country  of  North  Wales  was  cruelly  wasted  by  the  army  of  965. 
Edgar  King  of*  England ;  the  occasion  of  which  invasion 
was  the  non-payment  of  the  tribute  that  the  king  of 
Aberffraw,  by  the  laws  of  Howel  Dha,  was  obliged  to  pay 
to  the  King  of  London.  At  length  a  peace  was  concluded 
upon  condition  that  the  Prince  of  North  Wales,  instead  of 
money,  should  pay  to  the  King  of  England  the  tribute  of 
300  wolves  yearly,*  which  animal  was  then  very  pernicious 
and  destructive  to  England  and  Wales.  This  tribute  being 
duly  performed  for  two  years,  the  third  year  there  were 
none  to  be  found  in  any  part  of  the  Island ;  so  that  after- 
wards the  Prince  of  North  Wales  became  exempt  from 
paying  any  acknowledgment  to  the  King  of  England.f  The 
terror  apprehended  from  the  English,  being  by  these  means  966. 


*  Stowe's  Chron.  p.  83,  printed  at  London,  A.  D.  1614.— Fabian's  Chron.  p.  249. 
f  William  Malmesbury,    p.   59;    Fabian,  p.   240;    Stowe's   Chron.  p.  83;    Welsh 
Chron.  p.  62  (excepting  only  the  number). 


vanished,  there  threatened  another  cloud  from  Ireland; 
for  the  Irish  being  animated  by  their  late  expedition, 
landed  again  in  Anglesey;  and  having  slain  Roderic  the 
A.D.  967.  son  of  Edwal  Foel,  they  destroyed  Aberffraw.  When 
this  danger  was  over,  levaf  and  lago,  who  had  jointly  and 
amicably,  till  now,  managed  the  government  of  Wales  from 
the  death  of  Howel  Dha,  began  to  quarrel  and  disagree 
between  themselves;  and  lago  having  forcibly  laid  hands 

968.  on  his  brother  levaf,  consigned  him  to  perpetual  imprison- 
ment.     These  animosities  between  the  two  brothers  gave 
occasion  and  opportunity  to  Owen  prince  of  South  Wales 
to  aggrandize  himself,  by  taking  possession  of  the  country 

969.  of  Gwyr.*     And  to  augment  the  miseries  of  the  Welsh  at 
this  time,  Mactus  the  son  of  Harold,  with  an  army  of 
Danes,  landed  in  the  isle  of  Anglesey,  and  spoiled  Penmon.f 
King  Edgar  was  so  indulgent  to  the  Danes,  that  he  per- 
mitted them  to  inhabit  through  all  England ;  insomuch  that 
at  length  they  became  as  numerous  and  as  powerful  as  the 
English  themselves;    and    they   gave   way  to   such  lewd 
courses  of  debauchery  and  drunkenness,  that  very   great 
mischiefs  ensued  thereupon.     The  king,  to  reform  this  im- 
moderate sottishness,  enacted  a  law,  that  every  one  should 
drink   by  measure,  and  a  mark  was  stamped  upon  every 

970.  vessel,  to  denote  how  far  it  should  be  filled.     Harold  having 
taken  Penmon,  subjected  to  himself  the  whole  isle  of  Angle- 
sey, which  however  he  did  not  keep  long,  being  forced  to 
quit  the  same,  and  to  return  home ;  as  did  the  fleet  of  king 
Alfred,  which  he  had  sent  to  subdue  Caerlheon  upon  Use ; 

971.  and  now  being  rid  of  the  English  and  Danes,  the  Welsh 

972.  began  to  raise  commotions  among  themselves.     levaf  con- 
tinued still  in  prison,  and  to  rescue  him,  his  son  Howel 
raised  a  body  of  forces,  and  marched  against  his  uncle  lago, 
who  being  vanquished  in  fight,  was  forced  to   quit  the 
country.      Howel  having  obtained  the  victory,   took  his 
eldest  uncle,  Meyric,  the  son  of  Edwal,  prisoner,  and  having 
directed  both  his  eyes  to  be  put  out  he  was  placed  in  prison, 
where  in  a  woful  condition  he  soon  afterwards  died,  leaving 
two  sons,  Edwal  and  lonafal ;  the  first  of  which  lived  to  be 
Prince   of  Wales,   and  to  revenge  upon   the  posterity  of 
Howel,  the  unnatural  barbarity  exercised  towards  his  father. 
But  though  Howel  delivered  his  father  from  his  long  and 
tedious  imprisonment,:}:  yet  he  did  not  think  fit  to  restore 
him  to  his  principality ;  for  whether  by  age  or  infirmity  he 
was  incapable,  or  otherwise,  Howel  took  upon  him  the  sole 


*  Gwyr,  in  Glamorganshire. — Welsh  Chron.  p  62.  t  Ibid. 

J  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  62,  65. 


government  of  Wales,  which  he  kept  and  maintained  during 
his  lifetime,,  but  afterwards  it  descended  to  his  brethren; 
for  levaf  had  issue,  besides  this  Howel,  Meyric,  levaf,  and 
Cadvvalhan ;  all  three  men  of  great  repute  and  esteem. 

About  this  time  died  Morgan  Hen,*  in  his  younger  days 
called  Morgan  Mawr,  being  an  hundred  years  old,  having 
lived  fifty  years  after  the  death  of  his  vvife  Elen,  daughter  of 
Roderic  the  Great,  by  whom  he  had  one  son  called  Owen. 
Morgan  was  a  valiant  and  a  victorious  prince,  and  well 
beloved  of  his  subjects ;  but  sometime  before  his  death, 
Owen,  the  son  of  Prince  Howel  Dha,  laid  claim  to  Ystradwy 
and  Ewy  (called  the  two  Sleeves  of  Gwent  Uwchcoed), 
being  the  right  by  inheritance  of  Morgan,  and  seized  upon 
them  to  his  own  use.  The  matter,  however,  through  the 
mediation  of  the  clergy  and  nobility,  being  by  both  parties 
referred  to  the  decision  of  Edgar  King  of  England,  it  was 
by  him  adjudged,  that  the  said  lands  did  of  right  belong  to 
Morgan,  and  to  the  diocese  of  Lhandaff;  and  that  Owen 
ap  Howel  Dha  had  wrongfully  possessed  himself  of  them. 
The  charter  of  the  said  award  was  made  before  the  arch- 
bishops, bishops,  earls,  and  barons  of  England  and  Wales, 
as  may  be  seen  at  Lhandaff,  in  an  old  manuscript  called 
y  Owtta  Cyfarwydd  o  Forgannwg.  And  there  is  some- 
what to  the  same  purport  in  the  old  book  of  Lhandaff;  only 
the  mistake  in  both  is,  that  they  make  Howel  Dhaf  the 
intruder  into  the  said  lands,  who  had  been  dead  at  least 
twenty  years  before  king  Edgar  began  his  reign. 


*  Also  called  Morgan  Mwynvawr,  or  Morgan  the  Courteous.  He  was  of  the  stock 
of  one  of  the  royal  tribes  of  Wales.  He  is  ranked  in  the  Triades*  with  Rhun  and  Arthur 
as  the  three  blood-stained  warriors  of  Britain  ;  and  is  distinguished  with  Gwaethvoed  and 
Elystan  under  the  appellation  of  the  three  band-wearing  princes,  because  they  wore 
bands  as  insignia  of  state,  instead  of  crowns,  like  the  primitive  Christians. 

"  The  book  of  Triades,  in  British  Trioedd  Ynys  Prydain,  or  "  Threes  of  the  Island  of  Britain,"  seems 
to  have  been  written  about  the  year  650,  and  some  parts  of  it  collected  out  of  the  most  ancient  monu- 
ments in  the  kingdom.  The  Triades  have  been  always  quoted  by  our  British  poets  from  age  to  age.  It 
is  called  by  some  writers,  and  by  the  translator  of  Camden,  "  The  Book  of  Triplicities."  The  Britons, 
as  well  as  other  nations  of  old,  had  a  particular  veneration  for  odd  numbers,  and  especially  for  that  of 
Three.  Their  most  ancient  poetry  consists  of  three-lined  stanzas,  called  JEnglyn  Milwr,  "  The  Warrior's 
Verse."  The  most  remote  history  is  divided  into  sections ;  being  combinations  of  some  three  similar 
events.  All  men  of  note,  whether  famous  or  infamous,  were  classed  together  by  threes -.  virtues  and  vices 
were  tripled  together  in  the  same  manner-,  and  the  Druids  conveyed  their  instructions  in  moral  and 
natural  philosophy  to  their  people  in  sentences  of  three  parts.  .--Royal  Tribes. 

f  Saxon  Laws,  published  by  Wilkins,  p.  125,  from  Lord  Littleton's  Life,  Henry  IT. 
vol.  2,  p.  89.— Tt  appears,  however,  that  during  the  reign  of  Howel  Dha,  this  prince  had 
dispossessed  Morgan  Hen,  the  Lord  of  Glamorgan,  of  certain  districts  in  that  country, 
and  that  this  dispute  was  tried  by  Edgar  King  of  England  in  a  full  court  of  prelates  and 
nobility  of  England  and  Wales,  vhen  the  lands  in  dispute  were  adjudged  to  Morgan  Hen 
and  his  heirs.— Spelman's  Concilia,  p.  414. 



A.  D.  973.  -  OWEL,  after  he  had  expelled  his  uncle  lago,  and 
forced  him  to  quit  his  own  dominions,  took  upon  himself 
the  government  of  Wales,*  in  right  of  his  father,  who, 
though  alive,  yet  by  reason  of  his  years,  declined  it.  About 
the  same  time  Dwnwalhon,  Prince  of  Stradelwyd,  took  his 
journey  for  Rome ;  and  Edwalhon,  son  of  Owen  Prince  of 
South  Wales,  died.  But  the  English  received  a  greater 
blow  by  the  death  of  King  Edgar,  who  was  a  prince  of 
excellent  qualities,  both  warlike  and  religious,  and  one  that 
founded  several  monasteries  and  religious  houses,  and  par- 
ticularly at  Bangor  :  for  lago  ap  Edwal  having  fled  to  King 
Edgar,  prevailed  so  far  with  him,  that  he  brought  an  army 
into  North  Wales  to  restore  him  to  his  right.  Being  ad- 
vanced as  far  as  Bangor,  he  was  honourably  received  by 
Howel,  who,  at  his  request,  was  contented  his  uncle  lago 
should  have  a  share  in  the  government,  as  he  had  in  his 
father  levafs  time.  Then  Edgar  founded  a  new  church  at 
Bangor,  on  the  south-side  of  the  Cathedral,  which  he  dedi- 
cated to  the  blessed  Virgin  Mary ;  and  confirmed  the 
ancient  liberties  of  that  see,  and  bestowed  lands  and  gifts 
upon  it ;  after  which,  with  Howel  and  lago  in  his  company, 
he  marched  towards  Chester,  where  met  him,  by  appoint- 
ment, six  other  kings,  viz.  Kenneth  King  of  the  Scots, 
Malcolm  King  of  Cumberland,  Macon  King  of  Man,  and 
Dyfnwal,  Sifrethus,  and  Ithel,  three  British  kings.  These 
eight  princes  having  done  homage  and  sworn  fealty  to 
him,  entered  with  King  Edgar  into  his  barge,  and  rowed 
him,  four  on  each  side,  from  his  palace  to  the  church  or 
monastery  of  St.  John  the  Baptist,  and  divine  service  being 
ended,  in  like  state  rowed  him  back  again. f  To  King 
Edgar  succeeded  his  son  Edward,  surnamed  the  younger ; 
who,  after  four  years  reign,  was  treacherously  slain  through 
the  treason  of  his  step-mother  Elfrida,  to  make  room  for 
her  own  son  Edelred,  upon  pretence  of  whose  minority, 
being  a  child  of  only  seven  years,  she  might  have  the 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  64. 
f  Selden's  Mare  Clausum,p.  1315. — BromptoiTs  Chron.  p.  869. — Matth.  Westm.p.287. 

A.  D.  975.— At  this  period  Dunwallon,  Prince  of  the  Strath-Clwyd  Britons,  who  had 
settled  in  North  Wales,  intimidated  by  the  cruel  ravages  of  the  Danes,  or  influenced  by 
the  pious  spirit  of  the  age,  retired  to  Rome,  and  engaged  in  a  religious  life.  On  his 
retreat  that  small  state  was  re-united  to  the  kingdom  of  North  Wales.— Hamffrey  Lhuyd, 
p.  32. 


management  of  the  kingdom  in  her  own  hands.     Whilst  the  A.D.  976. 
English  were  in  this   wavering  and  unsettled    condition, 
Eineon,  the  son  of  Owen  King  of  South  Wales,  the  second 
time  entered  the  country  of  Gwyr,  and,  having  spoiled  and 
wasted  it,  returned  home  again.     This,  though  it  was  a  very 
great   affront  to   Howel  Prince  of  North   Wales,  yet  he 
thought  it  most  convenient  to  leave  unnoticed,  being  then 
warmly  engaged  against  the  aiders  and  abettors  of  his  uncle 
lago ;  and  marching  against  them  with  a  numerous  army, 
consisting  of  Welsh  and  English,  pursued  them  to  Lhyn 
and  Kelynnoc  Vawr,  the  very  extremity  of  Wales  ;*  where, 
after  cruelly  ravaging  the  country  and  miserably  harassing 
the  inhabitants,  lago  was  at  last  taken  prisoner  ;  but  he  was 
generously  received  by  Howel,  who  granted  him  the  enjoy- 
ment of  his  portion  of  the  country  peaceably  for  his  life. 
Howel  did  not  deal  so  kindly  with  his  uncle  Edwal  Fychan, 
the  son  of  Edwal  Foel,  who,  for  some  reason  not  known,   979. 
was  slain  by  him.     It  may  be,  that  being  in  a  manner  secure 
of  his  uncle  lago,  he  was  apprehensive  that  Edwal  Fychan 
would  put  in  a  claim  to  the  principality,  and  therefore  he 
judged  it  convenient  to  remove  this  obstacle  in  time,  and  to 
send  him  to  seek  for  it  in  another  world.     For  nothing  has 
been  the  cause  of  greater  injustice  and  inhumanity  in  princes 
than  a  jealousy  and  apprehension  of  rivals  and  pretenders  to 
their   government,   to   prevent  which    they  often  sacrifice 
every  thing  that  is  just  and  legal,  so  that  the  person  offend- 
ing be  removed  out  of  the  way.     Though  Howel  had  mur- 
dered his  uncle  Edwal  Fychan,  he  could  not  remove  all 
disputes  and  pretensions  as  to  North  Wales:    for  at  that 
same  time  that  he  was  employed  in  this  unnatural  trans- 
action, Cystenyn  Dhu,  or  Constantino  the  Black,  son  to 
lago  (then  prisoner  to  Howel),  having  hired  an  army  of 
Danes,  under  the  command  of  Godfryd  the  son  of  Harold, 
marched   against  his   cousin   Howel,   and  entering  North 
Wales,  destroyed  Anglesey  and  Lhyn ;  whereupon  Howel, 
having  drawn  his  forces  together,  fell  upon  them  at  a  place 
called  Gwyath  Hirbarth,  where  the  Danes  received  a  very 
great  overthrow,   and   Constantine,  the   son  of  lago,  was 
slain. f     Another  army  of  Danes,  however,  fared  better  .in 
England :  having  landed  at  and  spoiled  Southampton,  they 
over-ran  the  countries  of  Devon  and  Cornwall,  burnt  the 
town  of   Bodmin,  whereby  the   cathedral   church   of   St. 
Petrokes,  with  the  bishop's  palace,  were  laid  in  ashes ;  by 
reason  of  which  disaster  the  bishop's  see  was  translated  to 

c  2 
*  Carnarvonshire.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  65. 


St.  Germain's,  where  it  continued  until  the  uniting  thereof 
to  Crediton.  Within  a  while  after,  St.  Dunstan,  archbishop 
of  Canterbury,  died,  a  pious  and  religious  man,  who  fore- 
told very  great  and  almost  insupportable  calamities  that  the 
English  should  endure  by  the  cruel  outrages  of  the  Danes. 
A.D.  981.  Godfryd,  the  son  of  Harold,  being  highly  chagrined  at 
the  complete  route  he  received  of  Howel  in  the  quarrel  of 
Constantine,  was  resolved  to  recover  his  credit,  and  to 
revenge  himself  of  the  Welsh ;  and  accordingly  he  landed 
with  a  powerful  army  in  West  Wales,  where,  after  he  had 
spoiled  the  land  of  Dyfed,  with  the  church  of  St.  David's, 
he  fought  the  famous  battle  of  Llanwanoc.  Harold  being 
forced  upon  this  to  retire  and  forsake  the  country,  the  fol- 

982.  lowing  year  Duke  Alfred,  with  a  considerable  number  of 
English,  came  to  supply   his  room  and  to  conquer  the 
Welsh ;   but  he  obtained  as  little  advantage  or  honour  as 
Harold  in  this  expedition ;   for  after  he  had  laid  waste  and 
destroyed  the  town  of  Brecknock,  with  some  part  of  South 
Wales,  he  was  completely  vanquished,  and  his  army  almost 
totally  cut  off  by  the  troops  of  Eineon,  the  son  of  Owen 
Prince  of  South  Wales,  and  Howel  Prince  of  North  Wales, 

•         who  had  joined  their  forces  against  him.*   The  Welsh,  hav- 

983.  ing  now  quite  disabled  the  Danes  and  the  English,  began 
to  adopt  their  old  courses — to  make  use  of  their  prosperity 
and  quietness  from  abroad,  for  quarrelling  and  creating 
disturbances  at  home.      The  inhabitants  of  Gwentlandf 
imagined  themselves  very  strong  and  powerful,  and  there- 
fore endeavoured  to  shake  off  their  allegiance  to  their  prince, 
and  to  set  up  one  of  their,  own  making.     Owen,  Prince  of 
South  Wales,  to  subdue  the    rebellious  humour  of  these 
seditious  and  turbulent  people,  sent  his  son  Eineon  to  per- 
suade them  to  obedience ;  but  a  distracted  multitude,  when 
broken  loose,  is  not  to  be  worked  upon  by  arguments,  which 
Eineon  fatally  experienced,  who  was  so  far  from  persuading 
them  to  their  allegiance  by  fair  means,  that  they  set  upon 
him,  and  thinking  they  had  him  in  their  possession  who  was 
next  to  succeed,  put  him  at  once  to  death  ;  and  thus  most 
ignobly  fell  this  worthy  prince,  who,  in  his  father's  time, 
was  the  only  support  of  his  country,  being  an  able  and  a 
valiant  commander,  and  one  skilfully  experienced  in  the  art 
and  discipline  of  war.      He  had  issue  two  sons,  Edwyn  and 
Tewdwr  Mawr,  or  Theodore  the  Great,  from  whose  loins 
several  Princes  of  South  Wales  descended.J     Howel  Prince 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  66. 

t  Comprehending  parts  of  the  present  counties  of  Monmouth  and  Hereford. 
}  Welsh  Chron.  p.  66. 


of  North  Wales  did  not,  however,  regard  this  dissension 
and  rebellion  in  South  Wales,  and  therefore  took  oppor- 
tunity to  strengthen  and  multiply  his  army,  with  which  he 
marched  the  next  year  for  England,  intending  to  revenge 
the  incursions  and  invasions  of  the  English  upon  Wales,  and 
to  destroy  and  waste  their  country  ;  but  having  entered  into 
England,  he  was  presently  encountered,  upon  which,  being 
resolved  either  to  return  victoriously  or  to  die  courageously, 
he  exerted  his  prowess,  but  in  the  action  was  slain,*  leaving 
no  issue  to  succeed  him  in  the  principality,  though  in  some 
ancient  genealogies  he  is  reputed  to  have  had  a  son  called 
Conan  y  Cwn, 


JH  OWEL,  the  son  of  levaf,  had  for  a  long  time  enjoyed 
the  principality  of  North  Wales,  more  by  main  force  and 
usurpation,  than  any  right  of  succession  he  could  pretend  to 
it :  for  lonafal  and  Edwal  the  sons  of  Meyric,  the  eldest 
son  of  Edwal  Foel,  were  living,  and  through  their  father 
had  been  rejected  as  being  unfit  for  government,  yet  that 
was  no  reason  to  deprive  them  of  their  right.  Indeed, 
Howel  could  set  up  no  other  right  or  title,  than  that  his 
father  levaf  had  been  prince  of  North  Wales  before  him, 
and  this  he  thought  sufficient  to  maintain  his  possession 
against  the  rightful  heir,  who  was  unable  to  oppose  or 
molest  his  wrongful  usurpation ;  but  Howel  being  slain  in 
this  rash  expedition  against  the  English,  and  leaving  no 
issue,  his  brother  Cadwalhon  thought  he  might  rightfully 
take  upon  him  the  government  of  North  Wales,  seeing  his 
father  and  his  brother  had  without  any  molestation  enjoyed 
the  same.  However,  to  make  his  title  secure,  he  thought 
fit  to  remove  all  those  who  might  create  any  dispute  con- 
cerning his  right  of  succession,  and  to  that  end,  deemed  it 
expedient  to  make  away  his  cousins  lonafal  and  Edwal  the 
lawful  heirs  ;  the  first  of  whom  he  put  to  death  accordingly, 
but  Edwal  being  aware  of  his  intention,  privately  made  his 
escape,  and  so  prevented  his  wicked  design.  This  unnatural 
dealing  with  his  cousins  lonafal  and  Edwal  cost  Cadwalhon 
not  only  his  life,  but  the  loss  of  his  principality,  and  was 
the  utter  ruin  of  his  father's  house ;  for  he  had  scarce 
enjoyed  his  government  one  year,  when  Meredith  the  son  of  A.  D.  985. 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  66. 


Owen  prince  of  South  Wales  entered  into  North  Wales, 
slew  Cadwalhon  and  his  brother  Meyric,*  the  only  remains 
of  the  house  of  levaf,  and,  under  the  pretence  of  conquest, 
possessed  himself  of  the   whole  country.     Here  we  may 
observe  and  admire  the  wisdom  of  Providence,  in  permitting 
wrong  and  oppression  for  some  time  to  flourish  and  wax 
great,    and  afterwards,  by  secret  and    hidden    methods, 
restoring  the  posterity  of  the  right  and  lawful  heir  to  the 
just  and  pristine  estate  of  his  ancestors  :  for  after  the  death 
of  Edwal  Foel,  Meyric,  who  by  right  of  birth  was  legally 
to  succeed,  was  not  only  deprived  of  his  just  and  rightful 
inheritance,  but  had  his  eyes  most  inhumanly  put  out,  and 
being  condemned  to  perpetual  imprisonment,  through  grief 
at  being  so  barbarously  treated,   quickly  ended  his  days ; 
but  though  his  brothers  levaf  and  lago,  and  Howel  and 
Cadwalhon  the    sons  of   levaf,    successively  enjoyed  the 
principality  of  North  Wales,  yet  not  one  died  naturally  or 
escaped  the  revenge  of  Meyric's  ejection.     levaf  was  impri- 
soned by  his  brother  lago,  and  he,  with  his  son  Constantine, 
by  Howel  the  son  of  levaf,  and  afterwards  Howel  fell  by 
the  hands  of  the  English,  and  his  brethren  Cadwalhon  and 
Meyric  were  slain  by  Meredith  ap  Owen.     On  the  other 
hand,   Edwal  ap   Meyric,  who  was  right  heir  of  North 
Wales  after  the  death  of  his  brother  lonafal,  escaped  the 
snare  intended  by   Cadwalhon ;   and   Meredith  ap  Owen 
having  for  some  time  left  North   WTales  exposed  to   its 
enemies,  because  he  had  enough  to  do  to  preserve  South 
Wales,  Edwal  was  received  by  the  men  of  North  Wales  as 
their  true  prince. 


A.D.CS?.  ]VjEREDITH  having  defeated  and  slain  Cadwalhon  and 
his  brother  Meyric,  the  only  seeming  pretenders  to  the 
principality  of  North  Wales,  took  upon  himself  the  rule 
and  government  of  it  :f  but  before  he  was  well  confirmed  in 
his  dominions,  Godfryd  the  son  of  Harold  a  third  time 
entered  into  the  isle  of  Anglesey,  and  having  taken  Lhyarch 
the  son  of  Owen  with  2000  men  prisoners,  most  cruelly  put 
out  the  eyes  of  Lhyarch,  which  struck  such  a  terror  into 
Prince  Meredith,  that,  with  the  rest  of  his  army,  he  forth- 
with made  his  escape  and  fled  to  Cardigan.  This  loss  to 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p  67. 

^  Meredith  ruled  in  Fowys  in  right  of  his  mother. — British  Antiq.  revived  by  Vaughan, 
of  Hengwrt,  pp.  5, 14. 


the  Welsh  was  the  same  year  seconded  by  another,  but  of 
another  sort ;  for  there  happened  such  a  great  and  unusual 
murrain,  that  the  principal  part  of  the  cattle  of  Wales 
perished.      Nor  were  the  English  at  this  time  free  from 
adversities  and  troubles,    for  the  Danes  landed  again  in 
England  with  several  armies,  and  at  Westport  and  Witest 
gave  two  English  lords,  Godan  and  Britchwould,  such  a 
defeat,  that  the  king  was  forced  to  buy  his  peace,  with  the 
payment  of  10,000  pounds,  which  was  termed  Dane  Gelt. 
Within  a  short  time  after,  King  Edelred  violated  the  peace 
himself,  and  prepared  a  great  fleet,  thinking  to  vanquish  the 
Danes  at  sea ;  but  it  proved  otherwise,  all  his  ships  being 
either  destroyed  or  taken,  together  with  the  Admiral,  Alfric 
Earl  of  Mercia.      The  Danes  being  animated  with  this 
victory,  sailed  up  the  mouth  of  the  Humber,  and  landing  in 
Yorkshire,  spoiled  and  destroyed  the  cities  of  York  and 
Lindsey;    but  in  their  march   through    Northumberland, 
were  routed  and  put  to  flight  by  Godwyn  and  Fridgist,  two 
English  generals  who  were  sent  to  oppose  them.     The  same 
time  Anlaf  King  of  Norway,  and  Swane  of  Denmark,  with 
94  gallies,   sailed  up  the  Thames  and  besieged  London, 
which  the  citizens  so  bravely  defended,  that  the  Danes  at 
length  thought  it  best  to  raise  the  siege;  but  though  they 
could  effect  nothing  against  the  city,  yet  the  country  was  at 
their  mercy,  and  therefore  leaving  their  ships,  they  landed 
and  wasted  with  fire  and  sword  all  Kent,  Essex,  Sussex, 
Surry,  and  Hampshire;  wherefore  King  Edelred,  instead 
of  manly  opposition  in  the  field,  sent  ambassadors  to  treat 
about  another  payment,    and  so  the  Danes  being  satisfied 
with  a  great  sum  of  money  and  victuals,  lay  quiet  that  winter 
at  Southampton.     Upon  this  composition,  Anlaf  was  invited 
by  Edelred,  and  royally  entertained,  and  being  dismissed 
with  very  many  rich  presents,  he  promised  upon  oath  to 
depart  the  kingdom  and  never  to  molest  it  any  more,  which 
condition  he  faithfully  performed. 

Whilst  the  English  and  the  Danes  were  thus  for  a  time  A.  D.  987. 
at  peace,  levaf  the  son  of  Edwal,  having  spent  for  several 
years  a  retired  and  a  private  life,  died  ;*  and  was  quickly 
followed  by  Owen  the  son  of  Howel  Dha  Prince  of  South 
Wales.f  This  Owen  had  three  sons,  Eineon,  who  in  his 
father's  time  was  slain  by  the  rebels  of  Gwentland, 
Lhywarch  who  had  his  eyes  put  out  by  Godfryd  the  son  of 
Harold  the  Dane,  and  Prince  Meredith,  who  had  already 
conquered  North  Wales,  and  now  upon  his  father's  death 
took  possession  also  of  South  Wales,  without  any  regard  to 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  70.  f  Il"d- 


the  rights  of  Edwyn  and  Theodore  the  sons  of  Eineon  his 
elder  brother.  But  upon  his  advancement  to  his  new  princi- 
pality, he  narrowly  escaped  no  very  small  troubles  ;  for  the 
Danes  at  Hampton  quickly  broke  the  league  with  king 
Edelred,  and  sailing  towards  the  west  greatly  annoyed  the 
coasts  of  Cornwal  and  Devonshire,  and  at  last  landed  in 
South  Wales.  Having  destroyed  St.  David's,  Lhanbadarn, 
Lhanrhystyd,  Lhandydoch,  and  several  other  religious 
places,  the  country  was  so  much  harassed  and  weakened 
that  Prince  Meredith  was  forced  to  compound  with  them, 
A.  D.  988.  and  to  pay  a  tribute  of  one  penny  for  every  person  within 
his  dominions,  which  in  Welsh  was  called  Glwmaem,  or  the 
tribute  of  the  black  army.  Ireland  also  at  this  time  received 
no  inconsiderable  blow  from  the  Danes,  who  slew  Elwmaen 
the  son  of  Abloic  king  of  the  country,  and  so  ravaged  and 
laid  waste  that  kingdom,  that  a  great  number  of  the  natives 
perished  by  famine. 

The  year  following,  Owen  the  son  of  Dyfnwal,  a  man  of 

989.  considerable  note  and  reputation  among  the  Welsh,   was 
slain,  which  was  the  only  remarkable  event  that  happened 
this  year;  but  in  the  next  year  Edwin  ap  Eineon,  who  was 
right  heir  to  the    principality   of   South  Wales,    having 

990.  procured  the  aid  of  a  great  army  of  English  and  Danes 
entered  in  great  force  into  Meredith's  country,  spoiled  all 
the  land  of  Cardigan,   Dyfed,   Gwyr,   Kydwely,  and  St. 
David's,  and  received  hostages  of  the  chief  persons  of  thoee 

991.  countries  to  own  him  as  their  rightful  prince.     To  avenge 
these  outrages  upon  Edwyn,  Meredith  destroyed  the  town 
of  Radnor,  spoiled  Glamorgan,  and  carried  away  the  chief 
men  thereof  prisoners,  who  on  paying  their  ransom  were  set 
at  liberty.     Whilst  Wales  was  in  this  distracted  condition, 
and  scarce  any  place  free  from   hostility,   Meredith  and 
Edwyn  were  happily  reconciled,  and  the  differences  were 
composed  that  had  existed    between    them,    so  that  the 
English   and  Danes  who  came  in  with  Edwyn,   and  who 
expected  to  reap  an  harvest  out  of  these  civil  disturbances 
of  the  Welsh,  were  unexpectedly  dismissed  and  sent  home. 
Soon  after  this   agreement,   Cadwalhon,  the  only  son  of 
Meredith,  died,  which  rendered  the  composition  between 
Meredith  and  Edwyn  more  firm,  by  reason  that  this  latter 
thought  now  that  he  should  without  any  dispute  succeed 
Meredith  in  the  principality.     This,  however,  did  not  take 
place,  for  Meredith  being  very  much  disturbed  in  South 
Wales,  had  so  much  work  upon  his  hands  to  defend  that 
country,  that  he  left  North  Wales  exposed  to  the  common 
enemy,  which  the  Danes  were  quickly  acquainted  with,  and 



so  landing  in  Anglesey,  they  ravaged  and  laid  waste  the 
whole  island.  The  men  of  North  Wales  finding  themselves  A.  D.  992. 
thus  forsaken  by  Meredith,  and  their  country  in  danger  of 
being  over-run  by  the  Danes,  if  not  timely  prevented,  set 
up  Edwal  the  son  of  Meyric,  the  indisputable  heir  of  North 
Wales,  though  long  kept  from  it,  and  owned  him  for  their 
prince.*  These  incessant  wars  and  commotions  in  South 
Wales,  occasioned  a  great  famine  in  the  country,  of  which 
.  a  considerable  number  of  people  perished.  Meredith,  how- 
ever, who  had  once  conquered  North  Wales,  and  for  a  long 
time  had  got  possession  of  South  Wales,  without  any  right 
or  title  to  either,  was  now  obliged  to  relinquish  the  one,  and 
was  scarcely  able  to  maintain  the  other. 


JCjDWAL,  after  a  long  and  tedious  expectation,  being  993. 
now  joyfully  received  by  the  men  of  North  Wales  as  their 
prince,  endeavoured,  in  the  first  place,  to  defend  his  sub- 
jects from  the  injuries  and  depredations  they  received  from 
the  Danes  ;  and  having  in  a  measure  effected  that,  he  was 
accosted  by  another  enemy ;  for  Meredith  being  resolved  to 
revenge  the  indignity  and  disgrace  inflicted  upon  him  by  the 
men  of  North  Wales,  in  depriving,  him  of  the  government 
of  their  country,  gathered  together  all  his  power,  intending 
to  recover  possession  of  that  principality.  Having  advanced 
as  far  as  Lhangwm,f  Edwal  met  him,  and  in  open  battle 
routed  his  army;  in  which  action  Theodore  or  Tewdwr 
Mawr,  Meredith's  nephew,  was  slain,{  leaving  two  sons, 
Rhys  and  Rytherch,  and  a  daughter  named  Elen.  It  is, 
however,  deemed  probable  that  it  was  not  Tewdwr  Mawr, 
but  his  brother  Edwyn,  that  was  slain  in  this  battle,  which 
also  seems  rather  to  have  been  fought  at  Hengwm  in  Ar- 
dudwy,  in  Merionethshire,  than  at  Lhangwm,  for  in  Hen- 
gwm there  are  to  this  day  certain  monuments  of  victory  to 
be  seen,  as  heaps  of  stones,  tomb-stones,  and  columns, 
which  they  call  Carneddi  Hengwm.  Edwal  returning  home 
triumphantly  after  this  victory,  thought  he  had  now  secured 
himself  in  his  government,  and  expected  to  enjoy  his 
dominions  without  molestation.  He  had,  however,  scarcely 
recovered  the  fatigue  of  the  last  engagement,  when  Swane 
the  son  of  Harold,  having  lately  pillaged  and  wasted  the 
Isle  of  Man,  landed  in  North  Wales,  whom  Edwal  endea- 
*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  71.  f  Llangwm,  in  Denbighshire.  J  Welsh  Chron,  p.  72. 


vouring  to  oppose,  was  slain  in  the  encounter,  leaving  one 
son,*  called  lago.  Within  a  short  time  the  Danes  returned 
again  against  St.  David's,  and  destroying  all  before  them 
with  fire  and  sword,  slew  Morgeney,  or  Urgency,  bishop  of 
that  diocese.  Prince  Meredith  being  highly  concerned  at 
the  mischiefs  these  barbarous  people  continually  did  to  his 
country,  and  the  more,  because  he  was  not  able  to  repel 
their  insolencies,  died  of  grief  and  vexation,  having  issue  an 
only  daughter  named  Angharad,  who  was  twice  married ; 
first  to  Lhewelyn  ap  Sitsyhlt,  and  after  his  death  to  Confyn 
ap  Hirdref,  or,  as  others  think,  to  Confyn  ap  Gwerystan. 
She  had  children  by  both  husbands,  which  occasioned  after- 
wards many  disturbances  and  civil  commotions  in  Wales, 
the  issue  of  both  marriages  pretending  a  right  of  succession 
to  the  principality  of  South  Wales. f 


Prince  of  North  Wales,  being  killed  in  the 
battle  against  Swane,  and  having  no  other  issue  than  lago, 
who  was  a  minor,  and  too  young  to  take  upon  him  the 
government;  and  Meredith,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  dying 
without  any  other  issue  than  a  daughter,  caused  various 
quarrels  and  contentions  among  the  Welsh,  several,  without 
any  colour  of  right,  putting  in  their  claim  and  pretensions  to 
the  government.  In  North  Wales,  Conan  the  son  of  Howel, 
A.D.  1003.  and  Aedan  the  son  of  Blegorad,  were  the  chief  aspirers  to 
that  principality;  and  because  they  could  not  agree  who 
should  be  the  governor,  they  determined  to  try  the  matter  in 
open  field,  where  Conan  had  the  misfortune  to  be  slain; 
and  so  Aedan  was  victoriously  proclaimed  Prince  of  North 
Wales.*  Who  this  Aedan  was  descended  from,  or  what 
colour  or  pretence  he  could  lay  to  the  principality,  is  matter 
of  great  doubt,  there  being  none  of  that  name  to  be  met 
with  in  any  Welsh  records,  excepting  Blegorad  who  is 
mentioned  in  the  line  of  Howel  Dha,  whose  estate  and 
quality  were  not  sufficient  to  countenance  any  claim  of  his 
posterity  to  the  principality  of  Wales.  But  be  that  as  it 
may,  Aedan,  after  his  victory  over  Conan  ap  Howel,  was 
owned  Prince  by  the  men  of  North  Wales,  over  whom  he 
bore  rule  for  the  space  of  twelve  years  ;  though,  besides  his 
conquest  of  Conan  ap  Howel,  there  is  nothing  recorded  of 
1015.  him,  excepting  his  being  slain,  together  with  his  four  sons, 
by  Lhewelyn  ap  Sitsylht. 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  73.         t  Ibid.  p.  73.        J  Ibid.  pp.  74,  83. 


While  the  Welsh  were  in  this  unsettled  condition,  the 
Scots  began  to  grow  powerful  in  Ireland,  and  having  de- 
stroyed the  town  and  country  of  Develyn,  they  took  Gulfath 
and  Ubiad,   two  Irish  lords,  prisoners,  whose   eyes   they 
inhumanly  put  out.     The  Danes  also,  who  had  lately  made 
their  incursions  into  South  Wales,  began  now  to  molest  the 
English :  having  landed  in  the  west,  they  passed  through 
the  counties  of  Somerset,  Dorset,  Hants,  and  Sussex,  de- 
stroying and  burning  all  before  them;  and  advancing  with- 
out any  opposition  as  far  as  the  river  Medway,  they  laid 
siege  to  Rochester,  which  the  Kentish  men  endeavoured  to 
preserve  by  assembling  themselves  together  and  giving  the 
Danes  battle,  but  they  were  vanquished  in  the  undertaking. 
King  Edelred  was  then  in  Cumberland,  where  the  Danes 
were  more  numerously  planted,  which  country  he  kept  quiet 
and  in  subjection.     In  the  mean  time  another  army  of  Danes 
landed  in  the  west,  against  whom  the  country  people  of 
Somersetshire  assembled   themselves,    and    shewed    their 
readiness  to  attack  them,  but  wanting  a  leader,  were  easily 
put  to  the  rout,  and  the  Danes  ruled  and  commanded  the 
country  at  their  pleasure.     The  King  being  much  harassed 
by  the  insolence  and  continual  depredations  of  the  Danes, 
thought  convenient  to  strengthen  himself  by  some  powerful 
affinity,  and  to  that  end  sent  ambassadors  to  Richard  Duke 
of  Normandy,  desiring  his  daughter  Emma   in  marriage, 
and  requesting  aid  to  repel  the  Danish  incursions.     Here 
it  is  observable,  that  as  the  Saxons,  being  formerly  called 
over   as  friends  and  allies  to  the  well-meaning    Britons, 
violently  and  wrongfully  possessed  themselves  of  the  great- 
est part  of  the  island,  so  now  the  Normans,  being  invited 
to  aid  the  English  against  the  Danes,  took  so  great  a  liking 
to  the  country,  that  they  never  gave  over  their  design  of 
obtaining  it  till  they  became  conquerors  of  the  whole  island. 
The  mischief  of  calling  in  the  Normans  had  been  foretold  to 
King  Edelred,  but  he  was  so  far  concerned  about  the  present, 
calamities  caused  by  the  Danes,  that  he  was  deaf  to  all 
considerations  as  to  the  future  ;  and  therefore,  being  elated 
with  hopes  of  increase  of  strength  by  this  new  alliance,  he 
sent  private  letters  to  all  cities  and  towns  throughout  his 
dominions  where  the  Danes  were  quartered,  requiring  them 
all  upon  St.  Brice's  night  to  massacre  the  Danes,  which  was 
accordingly  performed  with  much  unanimity  and  secrecy. 
This  cruel  act  was  so  far  from  discouraging  the  Danes,  that 
they  now  began  to  vow  the  eradication  of  the  English  nation, 
and  to  revenge  that  unmanly  massacre  of  their  countrymen ; 
to  which  end  they  landed  in  Devonshire,  and  over-running 



the  country  with  fire  and  sword,  spared  nothing  that  had  the 
least  spark  of  life  in  it.  The  city  of  Exeter  they  razed  to 
the  ground,  and  slew  Hugh  the  Norman,  whom  the  Queen 
had  recommended  to  the  government  of  it.  To  prevent 
their  further  incursions,  Almarus  Earl  of  Devon  gathered 
a  great  army  out  of  Hampshire  and  Wiltshire  and  the 
country  thereabouts,  and  marched  with  a  determined  reso- 
lution to  oppose  the  Danes;  but  they  put  Almarus  to  flight, 
and  pursued  him  to  Wilton  and  Salisbury,  which  being 
ransacked  and  plundered,  they  carried  the  pillage  thereof 
triumphantly  to  their  ships. 

A.  D.  1004.  The  next  year  Swane,  a  prince  of  great  repute  in  Den- 
mark, landed  upon  the  coast  of  Norfolk  and  laid  siege  to 
Norwich,  and  wasted  the  country  thereabouts.  Wolfkettel, 
Duke  of  that  country,  being  too  weak  to  oppose  him, 
thought  it  most  convenient  to  make  a  peace  with  the  Dane  ; 
which  was  quickly  broken,  and  then  Swane  marched  pri- 
vately to  Thetford,  and  after  he  had  spoiled  and  ransacked 
that  place,  he  returned  with  his  prey  to  his  ships.  Wolf- 
kettel hearing  this,  privately  drew  up  his  forces,  and 
marched  against  the  enemy ;  but  being  far  inferior  in 
number,  the  Danes  defeated  him,  and  afterwards  sailed  to 
their  own  country.  Within  two  years  after,  the  Danes 
returned  again,  bringing  with  them  their  usual  companions, 
fire,  sword,  and  spoliation,  and  landed  at  Sandwich ;  after 
they  had  burnt  and  pillaged  that  place,  they  sailed  to  the 
Isle  of  Wight,  where  they  took  up  their  quarters  till 
Christmas :  and  then  coming  forth  thence,  they  over-ran, 
by  several  parties,  the  countries  of  Hampshire  and  Berk- 
shire, as  far  as  Reading,  Wallingford,  and  Colsey ;  devour- 
ing, for  want  of  other  plunder,  all  the  provisions  they  found 
in  the  houses,  and  destroyed  the  same  with  fire  and  sword 
at  their  departure.  In  their  return  they  met  with  the  army 
of  the  West  Saxons  near  Essington,  but  this  consisting  only 
of  a  raw  and  inexperienced  rabble,  was  easily  broken 
through,  and  the  Danes  passing  triumphantly  by  the  gates 
of  Winchester,  got  safe  with  great  booty  to  the  Isle  of 
Wight.  King  Edelred  all  this  while  lay  at  his  manor-house 
in  Shropshire,  much  troubled  and  concerned  at  these  unin- 
terrupted devastations  of  the  Danes;  and  the  nobility  of 
England,  willing  rather  to  save  some  than  lose  all  they 
possessed,  bought  their  peace  of  the  Danes  for  the  sum  of 
30,000  pounds.  During  the  interval  of  repose  thus  obtained, 
King  Edelred,  rousing  his  drooping  spirits,  ordained,  that 
every  three  hundred  hides  of  land  (one  hide  being  as  much 
as  one  plough  can  sufficiently  till)  through  his  dominions 



should  man  and  fit  out  a  ship,  and  every  eight  hides  provide 
a  corslet  and  a  helmet;  besides  which  the  king  had  no 
inconsiderable  navy  sent  him  from  Normandy.  This  fleet 
when  rendezvoused  at  Sandwich  seemed  very  powerful  in 
those  days,  and  was  the  greatest  that  had  ever  down  to  that 
period  rode  upon  the  British  sea.  And  now,  when  it  was 
thought  that  all  things  would  go  well  with  the  English,  of  a 
sudden  another  cloud  appeared ;  for  one  Wilnot,  a  noble- 
man of  Sussex,  being  banished  by  King  Edelred,  got  to  sea 
with  a  small  number  of  ships,  and  practised  piracy  along 
the  coasts  of  Britain,  greatly  annoying  all  merchants  and 
passengers.  Brightrych,  brother  to  the  traitorous  Edric  A.D.  1008. 
Earl  of  Mercia,  thinking  to  advance  his  reputation  by  some 
signal  exploit,  promised  to  bring  Wilnot  dead  or  alive  before 
Edelred  :  to  which  end  he  set  forth  with  a  considerable  fleet ; 
which  meeting  with  a  terrible  storm,  was  by  the  tempest 
driven  back,  and  wrecked  upon  the  shores  ;  so  that  a  great 
number  of  the  ships  were  lost,  and  the  rest  burnt  by  Wilnot 
and  his  followers.  Brightrych  being  dismayed  with  this 
unfortunate  beginning,  returned  ingloriously  by  the  Thames 
back  to  London  ;  so  that  this  great  preparation  against  the 
Danes  was  dashed  to  pieces  and  came  to  nothing. 

The  Danes  were  not  ignorant  of  the  misfortune  the  1009. 
English  received  by  this  storm,  and  without  any  further 
enquiry,  landed  at  Sandwich,  and  so  passed  on  to  Canter- 
bury, which  they  intended  to  destroy,  but  were  prevented 
by  the  citizens  paying  3000  pounds.  Passing  from  thence, 
through  Kent,  Sussex,  and  Hampshire,  they  came  to  Berk- 
shire, where  King  Edelred  at  length  met  with  them,  and 
determining  resolutely  to  attack  them,  was  by  the  cunning 
insinuations  and  subtile  arguments  of  the  traitor  Edric 
dissuaded  from  fighting.  The  Danes  being  thus  delivered 
from  the  danger  which  they  certainly  expected,  passed  on 
joyfully  by  the  city  of  London,  and  with  great  booty  returned 
to  their  ships.  The  next  year  they  landed  again  at  Ipswich, 
upon  •  Ascension  Day,  where  Wolfkettel  met  them  by  a 
spirited  encounter ;  but  being  overpowered  by  numbers,  he 
was  forced  to  fall  back  and  yield  the  victory  to  the  Danes. 
Passing  from  thence  to  Cambridge,  they  met  with  Ethelstan, 
King  Edelred's  nephew  by  his  sister,  who  with  an  army 
endeavoured  to  oppose  them ;  but  the  Danes  proving  too 
powerful,  he  with  many  other  noblemen  were  slain ;  among 
whom  were  Duke  Oswyn  and  the  Earls  Edwyn  and  Wol- 
frike.  From  hence  the  Danes  passed  through  Essex, 
leaving  no  manner  of  cruelty  and  barbarity  unpractised,  and 
returned  laden  with  booty  to  their  ships,  which  lay  in  the 



A.D.  1010.  Thames.     They  could  not,  however,  continue  long  in  their 
vessels ;  and  therefore  sallying  out,  they  passed  by  the  river 
side  to  Oxford,   which   they  ransacked  again;  adding  to 
their  prey  the  plunder  of  the  counties   of  Buckingham, 
Bedford,  Hertford,  and  Northampton,  and  having  accom- 
plished that  year's  cruelties,  at  Christmas  they  returned  to 
their  ships.     Yet  the  prey  of  the  country  from  the  Trent 
loll. southward  did  not  satisfy  these  unmerciful  barbarians;  for 
as  soon  as  the  season  gave  them  leave  to  peep  out  of  their 
dens  they  laid  siege  to  the  city  of  Canterbury,  which  being 
delivered  up  by  the  treachery  of  Almarez  the  Archdeacon, 
was  condemned  to  blood  and  ashes,  and  Alfege  the  Arch- 
bishop carried  prisoner  to  the  Danish  fleet,  where  he  was 
1012.  cruelly  put  to  death.     The  next  year  Swane  King  of  Den- 
mark came  up  the  Humber  and  landed  at  Gainesborow, 
whither  repaired  to  him  Uthred  Earl  of  Northumberland 
with  his  people,  the  inhabitants  of  Lindsey,  with  all  the 
countries  northward  of  Watling-street,   being  a  highway 
crossing  from  the  east  to  the  west  sea,  and  gave  their  oath 
and  hostages  to  obey  him  ;  on  which,  King  Swane  finding 
his  undertaking  fortunate  beyond  expectation,  committed 
the  care  of  his  fleet  to  his  son  Canute,  and  marched  himself 
first  to   Oxford,    and  then  to   Winchester;   which  cities, 
probably  through  fear  of  further  calamities,  readily  acknow- 
ledged him  for  their  king.     From  thence  he  marched  for 
London,  where  King  Edelred  then  lay,  and  which  was  so 
ably  defended  by  the  citizens,  that  he  was  likely  to  effect 
nothing  against  it ;  and  therefore  he  directed  his  course  to 
Wallingford  and  Bath,  where  the  principal  men  of  the  West 
Saxons  yielded  him  subjection.     The  Londoners  too,  at  last, 
fearing  his  fury  and  displeasure,  made  their  peace,  and  sent 
him  hostages ;   which  city  being  thus  received  under  his 
subjection,   Swane  from  that  time  was  accounted  King  of 
all  England.     King  Edelred  perceiving  all  his  affairs  in 
England  to  go  against  him,  and  his  authority  and  govern- 
ment reduced  to  so  narrow  a  compass,  and  having  sent  his 
queen  with  his  two  sons  Edward  and  Alfred  to  Normandy, 
he  thought  it  expedient  within  a  short  time  to  follow  himself. 
He  was  honourably  received  by  his  brother-in-law  Richard ; 
and  had  not  been  there  long  before  news  arrived  of  the  death 
of  Swane,  and  that  he  was  desired  by  the  English  to  return 
to  his  kingdom.     Being  animated  and  comforted  with  this 
cheering  news,  he  set  forward  with  a  great  army  to  England, 
and  landing  at  Lindsey,  he  cruelly  harassed  that  province, 
by  reason  that  it  had  owned  subjection  to  Canute  the  son  of 
Swane,  whom  the  Danes  had  elected  king  in  his  father's 



stead.  King  Canute  being  at  Ipswich,  and  certified  of  the 
arrival  of  King  Edelred,  and  the  devastation  of  Lindsey, 
and  fearing  that  his  authority  was  going  down  the  wind, 
barbarously  cut  off  the  hands  and  noses  of  all  the  hostages 
he  received  from  the  English,  and  presently  set  sail  for 
Denmark.  Whilst  England  was  in  this  general  confusion, 
there  occurred  as  great  a  storm  in  Ireland ;  for  Brian  king 
of  that  island,  and  his  son  Murcath,  with  other  kings  of  the 
country  subject  to  Brian,  joined  their  forces  against  Sutric 
the  son  of  Abloic  King  of  Dublin,  and  Mailmorda  King  of 
Lagenes.  Sutric  being  of  himself  too  weak  to  encounter  so 
numerous  a  multitude,  hired  all  the  pirates  and  rovers  who 
cruised  upon  the  seas,  and  then  gave  Brian  battle,  who,  with 
his  son  Murcath,  were  slain ;  and  on  the  other  side,  Mail- 
morda, and  Broderic  General  of  the  auxiliaries. 

But  Canute,  though  he  was  in  a  manner  forced  to  forsake  A  .D.  1013. 
England  upon  the  recalling  of  King  Edelred,  did  not 
abandon  all  his  pretence  to  the  kingdom ;  and  therefore  the 
next  year  he  came  to  renew  his  claim,  and  landed  with  a 
powerful  force  in  West-Sex,  where  he  exercised  very  great 
hostility.  To  prevent  his  incursions,  Edric,  and  Edmund 
(bastard  son  to  Edelred),  raised  their  forces  separately;  but 
when  both  armies  were  united,  they  durst  not,  either  for 
fear  or  because  of  the  dissension  of  the  two  generals,  fight 
with  the  Danes.  Edmund  therefore  passed  to  the  north, 
and  joined  with  Uthred,  Duke  of  Northumberland,  and  both 
together  descended  and  spoiled  Stafford,  Leicester,  and 
Shropshire.  On  the  other  side,  Canute  marched  forcibly 
through  Buckingham,  Bedford,  and  Huntingdonshire,  and 
so  (by  Stafford)  passed  toward  York,  whither  Uthred  has- 
tened, and,  finding  no  other  remedy,  submitted  himself, 
with  all  the  Northumbrians,  to  Canute,  giving  hostages  for 
the  performance  of  what  they  then  agreed  upon.  Notwith- 
standing this  submission,  Uthred  was  treacherously  slain, 
not  without  the  permission  of  Canute,  and  his  dukedom 
betowed  upon  one  Egrick,  a  Dane ;  whereupon  Edmund 
left  them,  and  went  to  his  father,  who  lay  sick  at  London. 
Canute,  returning  to  his  ships,  presently  followed,  and 
sailed  up  the  Thames  towards  London ;  but  before  he  could 
come  near  the  city  King  Edelred  was  dead,  after  a  trou- 
blesome reign  of  thirty-seven  years.  On  his  decease,  the 
English  nobility  chose  his  base  son  Edmund  (for  his  eminent 
strength  and  hardiness  in  war,  surnamed  Ironside)  as  their 
king.  Upon  this,  Canute  brought  his  whole  fleet  up  the 
river  to  London,  and,  having  cut  a  deep  trench  round  the 
town,  invested  it  on  all  sides ;  but  being  valorously  repulsed 



by  the  defendants,  he  detached  the  best  part  of  his  army  to 
fight  with  Edmund,  who  was  marching  to  raise  the  siege ; 
and  both  armies  meeting  in  battle  at  Proman  by  Gillingham, 
Canute  with  his  Danes  were  put  to  flight ;  but  as  soon  as 
time  and  opportunity  permitted  him  to  recruit  his  forces, 
Canute  gave  Edmund  a  second  battle  at  Caerstane :  Edric, 
Almar,  and  Algar,  however,  covertly  siding  with  the  Danes, 
Edmund  had  great  difficulty  in  maintaining  the  fight  obsti- 
nately till  night  and  weariness  parted  them.  Both  armies 
having  suffered  considerably  in  this  action,  Edmund  went  to 
West-Sex  to  reinforce  himself,  and  the  Danes  returned  to 
the  siege  of  London,  whither  Edmund  quickly  followed, 
raised  the  siege,  forced  Canute  and  his  Danes  to  betake 
themselves  in  confusion  to  their  ships,  and  then  entered 
triumphantly  into  the  city.  Two  days  after,  passing  the 
Thames  at  Brentford,  he  fell  upon  the  Danes  in  their  retreat, 
by  which  lucky  opportunity  obtaining  a  considerable  victory, 
he  returned  again  to  raise  recruits  among  the  West  Saxons. 
Canute,  upon  Edmund's  removal,  appeared  again  before 
London,  and  invested  it  by  land  and  water,  but  in  vain  ;  the 
besieged  so  manfully  and  resolutely  defending  themselves, 
that  it  was  impossible  to  master  the  town  before  Edmund 
could  come  to  the  relief  of  it :  and  this  they  soon  experi- 
enced; for  Edmund,  having  augmented  his  forces,  again 
crossed  the  Thames  at  Brentford,  and  came  to  Kent  in 
pursuit  of  Canute,  who  upon  giving  battle  was  so  signally 
defeated  at  first,  and  his  men  put  to  such  rout,  that  there 
wanted  nothing  of  a  full  and  absolute  victory  but  the  firm 
adherence  of  the  traitor  Edric,  who  perceiving  the  advan- 
tage to  incline  to  Edmund,  and  the  Danes  likely  to  receive 
their  final  blow,  cried  aloud,  "  Fled  Engle,  Fled  Engle, 
Edmund  is  dead,"  and  thereupon  fled  with  that  part  of  the 
army  under  his  command,  leaving  the  king  overpowered 
with  numbers.  By  this  desertion  and  treachery  the  English 
were  at  last  overthrown,  and  a  great  number  slain,  among 
whom  were  Duke  Edmund,  Duke  Alfric,  Duke  Godwyn, 
and  Wolfkettel,  the  valiant  Duke  of  the  East  Angles,  together 
with  all  the  English  cavalry,  and  a  great  portion  of  the 
nobility.  After  this  victory  Canute  marched  triumphantly 
to  London,  and  was  crowned  king ;  but  Edmund,  resolving 
to  try  his  fortune  in  another  field,  mustered  together  all  the 
forces  he  could,  and  meeting  with  Canute  in  Gloucestershire 
intended  to  give  him  battle  :  considering,  however,  what 
cruel  and  unnatural  bloodshed  had  already  been  caused, 
both  generals  agreed  to  put  an  end  to  their  tedious  quarrel 
by  single  combat ;  and  the  place  being  appointed,  Edmund 



and  Canute  attacked  each  other  very  vigorously,  till  at  last 
Canute  perceiving  it  impracticable  to  vanquish  a  man  like 
Ironsides,  laid  down  his  weapon,  making  an  offer  to  divide 
the  kingdom  fairly  betwixt  them :  Edmund  was  not  dis- 
pleased at  the  proposal,  and  therefore  both  parties  sub- 
mitted to  this  decision,  that  Edmund  should  rule  the  West- 
Saxons  and  the  South ;  Canute  in  Mercia  and  all  the 
North ;  and  so  they  parted  friends,  Canute  moving  to 
London,  and  Edmund  to  Oxford.  But  Edric  was  not 
satisfied  that  Edmund  should  have  any  share  at  all  of  the 
government,  and  therefore  he  resolved  to  conspire  against 
his  life,  and  to  deliver  the  whole  kingdom  of  England  into 
the  hands  of  Canute  ;  of  whom  he  might  reasonably  expect 
for  this,  and  other  traitorous  services,  a  very  ample  and  an 
answerable  return.  This  he  committed  to  one  of  his  own 
sons  to  put  in  execution,  a  scion  of  the  old  stock,  and  one 
early  versed  in  wicked  and  traitorous  designs,  who,  per- 
ceiving the  king  to  go  to  stool,  thrust  a  sharp  knife  up  his 
fundament,  of  which  wound  he  immediately  died.  Edric 
being  soon  informed  of  the  fact,  hastened  to  London,  and 
with  great  joy  and  loud  acclamations  came  to  Canute, 
greeting  him  as  sole  King  of  England,  and  withal,  telling 
him  in  what  manner,  and  by  whose  means,  his  old  enemy, 
King  Edmund,  was  assassinated,  at  Oxford.  Canute, 
though  pleased  at  the  death  of  Edmund,  was  a  person  of 
greater  honour  than  to  commend  so  horrible  a  deed,  though 
done  to  an  enemy,  and  therefore  told  Edric,  that  he  would 
without  fail  take  care  to  reward  him  as  his  deserts  required, 
and  would  advance  him  above  all  the  nobility  of  England, 
which  was  quickly  performed,  his  head  being  placed  upon 
the  highest  tower  in  London,  for  a  terror  to  such  villainous 
traitors  to  their  king.  Edric  was  thus  deservedly  dis- 
appointed of  the  mighty  thoughts  he  entertained  of  great- 
ness upon  the  advancement  of  King  Canute :  this  generous 
Dane  scorned  his  baseness,  and  having  paid  Edric  a  traitor's 
reward,  caused  execution  to  be  done  upon  all  his  accom- 
plices, and  upon  all  those  that  consented  to  the  base  murder 
of  that  brave  Prince,  King  Edmund. 

About  the  same  time  there  happened  great  disturbance  A.D.10W. 
and  commotion  in  Wales;  Lhewelyn  ap  Sytsylht  having 
for  some  years  been  still  and  quiet,  began  now  to  bestir 
himself,  and  having  drawn  all  his  forces  together,  marched 
against  Aedan,  who  forcibly  and  without  any  legal  pretence 
had  entered  upon,  and  for  all  this  time  had  kept  himself  in, 
the  government  of  North  Wales.  Aedan  would  not  quietly 



surrender  what  had  been  so  long  in  his  possession,  and  to 
maintain  which,  he  now  gave  Lhewelyn  battle;  but  the 
victory  going  against  him,  he  and  his  four  sons  were  slain 
upon  the  spot :  on  which  Lhewelyn,  without  any  regard  to 
the  claim  of  lago  the  son  of  Edwal,  the  right  heir,  took 
upon  himself  the  title  and  authority  of  Prince  of  all  Wales. 
His  pretension  to  North  Wales  was,  as  being  descended 
from  Trawst,  daughter  to  Elis,  second  son  to  Anarawd,  who 
was  the  eldest  son  of  Roderic  the  Great;*  and  to  South 
Wales,  as  having  married  Angharad,  the  only  daughter  of 
Meredith  Prince  of  South  Wales;  by  virtue  of  which  pre- 
tensions he  assumed  to  himself  the  government  of  all  Wales. 


JLjHEWELYN  having,  as  already  stated,  taken  upon 
him  the  general  government  of  Wales,  managed  his  charge 
with  such  prudence  and  moderation,  that  the  country  in  a 
short  time  became  very  flourishing  and  prosperous;  peace 
and  tranquillity  being  established  produced  plenty  and  in- 
crease of  all  things  necessary  to  human  subsistence:  for 
there  was  none  that  could  lay  any  claim  or  pretence  to 
either  of  the  principalities,  excepting  Ingo  the  son  of  Kdwal, 
who  was  indeed  lawful  heir  of  North  Wales,  but  either  too 
weak  to  withstand  or  unwilling  to  disturb  Lhewclyn's  title, 
and  therefore  lay  quiet  for  a  time,  expecting  a  better  oppor- 
tunity to  recover  his  r'mht.  In  the  mean  time  Canute 
being  crowned  King  of  all  England,  married  Emma  the 
widow  of  King  Edelred ;  and  for  the  better  securing  the 
English  crown  to  himself  and  his  heirs,  he  thought  it  expe- 
dient to  dispatch  Edmund  and  Edward  Ilie  sons  of  Ironsides 
out  of  the  way.  Lest,  however,  such  an  execrable  fact 
should  seem  too  black  to  be  done  in  England,  he  sent  the 
two  youths  to  Solomon  King  of  Hungary,  request  .ing  him  to 
use  some  convenient  opportunity  to  take  siway  their  lives; 
which  seemed  to  Solomon  so  very  unnatural,  that  instead  of 
complying  with  Canute's  request,  lie  educated  and  brought 
them  up  as  his  own  children.  Canute  imagined  now  that 
his  (ear  was  over,  and  his  business  effectually  finished,  so 
that  he  could  the  more  boldly  demand  of  his  subjects  what 
either  his  necessity  or  curiosity  would  prompt  him  to ;  and 
reflecting  with  himself  what  excessive  expense  he- had  been 
ut  in  the  conquest  of  England,  was  •  resolved  that  the 


•  Brit,  Ant.  revived  by  Vanglian  of  Hongwrt,  p.  14. 


English  should  repay  him,  and  therefore  required  a  sub- 
sidy of  seventy-two  thousand  pounds,  besides  eleven  thou- 
sand which  the  city  of  London  contributed.  At  this  time, 
M  eyrie  the  son  of  Arthtael,  a  person  of  quality  in  Wales, 
rebelled,  end  raised  an  am  -t  Prince  Lhewelyn,  who 

as  soon  as  he  appeared  in  the  field  to  quell  this  mal-content 
General,  met  with  him  and  manfully  slew  him  with  his  own 
hand,  and  easily  discomfited  his  followers.*  About  this 
time  also  Canute  sailed  over  to  Denmark,  and  made  war 
upon  the  Vandals,  who,  notwithstanding  they  had  a  greater 
army  in  the  field,  were  overcome  by  the  incomparable 
valour  of  Earl  Godwyn ;  for  which  famous  action  Canute 
held  the  English  in  great  esteem  ever  after. 

Lhewelyn  Prince  of  Wales,  though  he  had  lately  quelled  A. 
the  roMs  headed  by  Meyric,  had  now  to  encounter  another 
difficulty,  which  seemed  to  threaten  greater  disturbance  and 
trouble  to  him ;  for  a  certain  person  of  a  mean  quality  in 
land  coming  to  South  Wales,  assumed  the  name  of 
Run,f  and  em  out  that  he  was  the  son  of  Meredith  Prince 
of  South  Wales:  to  whom  joir.ed  a  great  number  of  the 
nobility,  who  had  no  great  aflection  for  Lhewelyn,  and 
proclaimed  Rim  Prince  of  South  Wales.  Lhewelyn  being 
then  in  North  A\  ales,  was  informed  of  this  famous  impostor, 
and  assembling  an  army  together,  marched  to  meet  him, 
who,  with  the  whole  strength  of  South  Wales,  then  lay  at 
Tsiwili.J  where  he  waited  the  arrivsl  of  Lhewelyn. 
When  both  armies  were  ready  to  join  battle,  Run  made  a 
vaunting  speech  to  his  soldiers,  assuring  them  of  victory, 
and  so  persuading  them  courageously  to  fall  on,  private!  y 
himself  retired  out  of  harm's  way ;  so  that  there  was  on  the 
one  side  a  valiant  army  under  a  cowardly  general,  and  on 
the  other  part  a  valiant  and  a  noble  commander  engaging 
with  a  slow  and  a  faint-hearted  army :  for  Lhewelvn,~like  a 
bold  and  courageous  prince,  ventured  into  the  miclst  of  liis 
enemies,  whilst  Run  privately  sneaked  off  out  of  all  danger; 
and  die  men  of  South  Wales  were  more  fierce  and  eager  in 
the  cause  of  a  pretender  than  the  men  of  North  Wales  to 
tain  the  quarrel  of  a  prince  of  their  own  blood.  After 
great  slaughter  on  both  sides,  the  men  of  North  Wales 
calling  to  mind  the  several  victories  they  had  obtained,  and 
beini  in  a  great  degree  animated  by  the  incomparable 
valour  of  their  prince,  fell  on  so  warmly  that  they  put  their 
enemies  to  flight,  and  pursued  Run  so  close,  that  notwith- 
standing his  several  devices,  he  was  at  last  overtaken  and 

F  -2 

»  Wefch  Chron  p.  SV  f  ^«W»  Chi^o  p  S&. 


slain.  Lhewelyn,  after  this  victory,  returned  laden  with 
spoil  into  North  Wales,*  and  for  some  time  lived  peaceably 
and  without  disturbance:  but  the  next  year,  Howel  and 
Meredith,  the  sons  of  Edwyn,  conspired  against  him  and 
slew  him.  He  left  a  son  called  Gruffydh  ap  Lhewelyn,f 
who  afterwards,  though  not  immediately,  ascended  to  the 
principality  of  North  Wales, 



.  'N  the  death  of  Lhewelyn,  lago  the  son  of  Edwal,  the 
true  heir  to  the  principality  of  North  Wales,  who  had 
been  so  long  wrongfully  kept  from  it,  thought  this  the  best 
opportunity  to  enter  upon  his  right,  by  reason  of  the  mi- 
nority of  Gruffydh  the  son  of  Lhewelyn;  upon  which 
pretence,  likewise,  Rytherch  the  son  of  lestyn  forcibly 
assumed  the  principality  of  South  Wales.  About  the  same 
time,  Canute  King  of  England  sailed  over  to  Denmark  and 
Sweden,  against  Ulf  and  Alaf,  who  had  excited  the  Fin- 
landers  against  him,  whom  he  subdued,  though  with  the 
loss  of  a  great  part  of  his  army,  as  well  English  as  Danes. 
Writhin  a  while  after  his  return  to  England,  he  made  a  very 
pompous  and  magnificent  journey  to  Rome  ;  more  to  satisfy 
his  ambitious  temper,  and  to  signify  to  the  world  his  great- 
ness and  might,  which  he  expressed  by  his  costly  presents 
and  princely  behaviour,  than  in  any  way  to  make  atonement 
for  the  oppression  and  bloodshed  by  which  he  had  estab- 
lished himself  in  his  kingdom :  for  what  holiness  and  morti- 
fication he  had  learnt  at  Rome  presently  appeared  upon  his 
return  to  England ;  when,  without  any  provocation,  he 
marched  with  an  army  into  Scotland,  and  forced  Malcolm 
the  king  thereof,  together  with  Molbeath  and  Jermare,  the 
kings  of  the  Orkneys  and  Ewist,  to  do  him  homage. 
A .  D.  1031.  The  affairs  of  Wales  were  at  this  time  very  turbulent  and 
unsettled;  for  Howel  and  Meredith,  after  the  murder  of 
Prince  Lhewelyn,  expected  to  enjoy  some  part  of  his  prin- 
cipality themselves,  but  finding  that  lago  had  seized  upon 
North  Wales,  and  Rytherch  upon  South  Wales,  and  withal 
perceiving  their  own  power  too  weak  to  oppose  their  de- 
signs, they  invited  over  the  Irish-Scots  to  their  aid  against 
Rytherch  ap  lestyn,  Prince  of  South  Wales.  By  the  help 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  85,  86. 

Wish  Chron.  ibid.     Ap  Einion.  ap  Owen  ap  Howel  Dh£.     The  word  aj>,  which  90 
frequently  occurs  in  Welsh  names,  signifies  a  son. 

I  Lineally  descended  from  Roderic  the  Great,  but  had  been  long  unjustly  excluded.— 
Welsh  Chron.  pp.  87,  8e.— Warringtou,  vol.  1,  p.  312. 


of  these,  Howel  and  Meredith  prevailed  over  Rytherch, 
who  being  at  length  slain,  they  jointly  took  upon  themselves 
the  rule  and  government  of  South  Wales.  This,  however, 
was  not  a  sufficient  title  to  establish  them  so  firmly  in  it 
that  their  usurpation  would  not  be  called  in  question ;  for  A.  D.  1033, 
the  sons  of  Rytherch,  presently  after  their  father's  death, 
gathered  their  forces  together  to  fight  with  the  brothers 
Howel  and  Meredith,  who  met  at  Irathwy,*  where  a  cruel 
battle  was  fought,  called  Gwaith  Irathwy;  and  at  last  the 
sons  of  Rytherch  were  put  to  flight.  Though  these  vic- 
tories, the  one  over  Rytherch,  and  the  second  over  his  sons, 
seemed  in  a  great  measure  to  favour  Howel  and  Meredith's 
pretence  to  and  establishment  in  the  principality;  yet  the 
unpardonable  crime  of  the  murder  of  Lhewelyn,  a  prince  of  1033. 
so  extraordinary  qualities,  could  not  remain  long  unreveng- 
ed  ;  for  the  sons  of  Conan  the  son  of  Sitsyiht,  Prince 
Lhewelyn's  brother,  were  resolved  to  avenge  their  uncle's 
murder  upon  the  two  usurpers,  which  in  a  short  time  they 
effected  against  Meredith,  who  met  with  the  same  end  from 
the  sons  of  Conan  that  he  had  formerly  inflicted  upon 
Lhewelyn.  These  civil  discords  in  Wales  were  quickly  1034. 
discovered  by  the  English,  who,  taking  advantage  of  so  fair 
an  opportunity,  entered  with  a  great  army  into  the  land  of 
Gwent,  where,  after  they  had  committed  considerable  waste 
for  some  time,  Caradoc  the  son  of  Rytherch  ap  lestyn  gave 
them  battle,  but  was  in  that  engagement  unhappily  slain. 
Shortly  afterwards  died  King  Canute,  the  most  famous  and  1035. 
the  mightiest  prince  then  in  the  western  parts  of  the  world, 
whose  dominions  extended  over  all  Sweden,  from  Germany 
almost  to  the  North  Pole,  together  with  the  kingdoms  of 
Norway  and  Denmark,  and  the  noble  island  of  Britain.  To 
him  succeeded  his  son  Harold,  for  his  swiftness  surnamed 
Harefoot,  begotten  upon  Alwyn,  the  daughter  of  Duke 
Alselyn,  though  several  firmly  contended  for  Hardycanute, 
his  other  son  by  Ernma,  who  was  then  in  Denmark.  Harold, 
however,  being  advanced  to  the  throne,  took  care  to  estab- 
lish himself  as  firmly  as  he  could  in  it,  and  to  that  end 
thought  it  expedient  to  banish  out  of  his  dominions  his 
mother-in-law  Emma,  who  was  endeavouring  to  promote  the 
interest  of  her  own  son  Hardycanute,  and  to  bring  him  to 
the  crown  of  England. 

Whilst  Harold  was  by   these  measures  settled   in    his  1037. 
dominions,  lago  ap  Edwal  was  on  the  point  of  losing  his 
principality  of  North   Wales;    for    Gruffydh   the  son   of 
Lhewelyn  ap  Sitsyiht,  sometime  Prince  of  North  Wales, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  87,  88. 


having  intimated  his  intention  of  rebelling  against  lago,  was 
so  generously  encouraged  and  universally  followed  by  all 
people,  for  the  love  they  bore  to  his  father,  that  in  a  short 
time  his  army  amounted  to  an  invincible  number.  However, 
lago  was  not  so  thoroughly  affrighted  as  to  give  up  his 
principality  without  drawing  a  sword  for  it ;  but  providing 
for  himself  as  well  as  he  could,  and  drawing  together  such 
forces  as  he  could  assemble,  he  gave  Gruffydh  battle,  when 
his  number  being  far  too  weak  to  oppose  so  great  an  army  as 
that  of  Gruffydh,  he  was  presently  overpowered  and  put  to 
the  rout,  and  himself  slain,  leaving  a  son  called  Conan,  by 
his  wife  Afandred,  daughter  to  Gweir  the  son  of  Pyhl.* 


J  AGO  ap  Edwal  being  slain,  Gruffydh  ap  Lhewelyn  was 
received  with  loud  acclamations,  and  joyfully  greeted  as 
Prince  of  North  Wales,  and  treading  in  his  father's  steps, 
demeaned  himself  in  his  government  with  that  prudence  and 
conduct,  that  he  manfully  defended  his  country  against  the 
frequent  invasions  of  the  English  and  Danes  ;  for  he  was 
scarcely  settled  in  his  dominion  when  these  inveterate  ene- 
mies of  the  Welsh  entered  in  an  hostile  manner  into  Wales, 
and  advanced  as  far  as  Crosford  upon  the  Severn,  where 
Gruffydh  met  them,  and  forced  them  to  retire  with  the 
utmost  speed  to  their  own  country.  From  thence  Gruffydh 
passed  to  Llanbadarn  Vawr,  in  Cardiganshire,  which  he  laid 
in  ashes,  and  afterwards  marched  through  all  the  country  of 
South  Wales,  receiving  of  the  people  an  oath  of  fidelity  and 
subjection  to  him.  In  the  mean  time,  Howel  ap  Edwyn 
Prince  of  South  Wales  fled  to  Edwyn,  brother  to  Leofric 
Earl  of  Chester,  and  prevailed  upon  him  to  come  with  an 
army,  consisting  of  English  and  Danes,  to  his  aid  against 
Gruffydh,  who,  meeting  his  enemies  in  the  field,  easily 
overcame  them,  Edwyn  being  slain  upon  the  spot,  and 
Howel  forced  to  'preserve  his  life  by  flight ;  after  which 
victory  Gruffydh,  having  reduced  all  the  country  of  Wales 
A.D.  1039-  to  subjection,  returned  again  to  North  Wales.f  Howel,  as 
soon  as  he  could  recover  himself  and  recruit  his  army, 
entered  again  into  South  Wales,  intending  the  recovery  of 
that  principality,  which  he  was  now  so  well  assured  of,  that 
he  brought  his  wife  with  him  to  the  field,  to  let  her  see  how 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  89.  f  Welsh  chron-  P-  91- 


easily  he  could  conquer  Gruffydh  ;*  but  too  great  an  assur- 
ance of  victory  seldom  proves  prosperous,  which  Howel  soon 
experienced ;  for  Gruffydh  meeting  with  him  at  Pencadair,f 
gave  him  so  warm  an  entertainment  that  he  was  forced  to  a 
precipitate  flight,  which,  however,  could  not  so  well  secure 
him,  but  that  he  was  narrowly  pursued,  and  his  wife,  who 
was  to  have  been  entertained  with  the  conquest  of  Gryffydh, 
saw  herself,  on  the  contrary,  taken  prisoner  by  him,  and 
forced  to  comply  so  far  to  his  humour  as  to  be  his  concu- 

At  this  time  Harold  King  of  England  died,  and  was 
succeeded  by  his  brother  Hardycanute,  a  prince  very  famous 
for  hospitality,  and  a  great  lover  of  good  cheer,  having  his 
table  covered  four  times  a  day  with  great  plenty  and  variety 
of  dishes,  and  numerous  superfluities  for  all  comers;  but  he 
likewise  dying  at  Lambeth,  after  two  years  reign,  the 
English  agreed  to  send  for  Alfred  the  eldest  son  of  Edelred 
from  Normandy,  and  to  make  him  king.  This  message  by 
no  means  pleased  Earl  Godwyn,  a  man  of  great  sway  then 
in  England,  who,  knowing  Alfred  to  be  a  person  of  greater 
spirit  than  to  permit  him  to  rule  as  he  pleased,  endeavoured 
by  every  means  to  dissuade  the  English  from  sending  for 
Alfred.  He  told  them  how  dangerous  it  was  to  permit  a 
warlike  nation  to  take  ro'ot  in  their  country,  and  how 
numerously  Alfred  would  be  attended  by  the  Normans,  to 
whom  he  h,ad  promised  the  chief  places  and  rule  of  the 
kingdom;  ]by  which  and  other  like  insinuations  he  so 
exasperated  the  English  nobility  against  the  Normans,  that 
to  diminish  their  number  they  put  every  tenth  man  to  death. 
This,  however,  not  being  sufficient,  they  acted  the  same 
part  over  again,  and  tythed  them  a  second  time ;  and  being 
highly  enraged  against  the  Normans,  they  led  Alfred,  who 
had  brought  them  over,  from  Gilford,  where  this  execution 
was  committed,  to  Gillingham,  where  having  put  -out  his 
eyes,  they  removed  him  to  Ely,  and  there  at  length  mur- 
dered him.  Then  they  sent  for  Edward  out  of  Normandy, 
and  made  him  king,  who,  according  to  his  promise  to  Earl 
Godwyn,  married  his  daughter  Edith,  a  lady  much  com- 
mended not  only  for  beauty,  modesty,  and  other  feminine 
qualifications,  but  also,  beyond  what  was  then  considered 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  91.  -\-  In  Caermarthenshire. 

J  Welsh  Chron.  p.  91. —  But  it  does  not  appear  that  Gruffydh  lo«t  any  reputation  wilh 
his  subjects;  the  Welsh,  like  most  other  nations  at  that  time,  regarding  whatever  they  had 
taken  in  war,  even  the  wives  of  the  vanquished,  as  the  lawful  property  of  the  conqueror; 
so  great  is  the  force  of  habit  upon  the  human  mind,  as  to  counteract  the  first  and  (he 
noblest  principles  of  nature  and  religion. — Lord  Lyttleton's  Hen.  II.— Warrington,  vol.  1, 
p .  316. 


requisite  for  a  woman,  learning.  King  Edward  did  not 
deal  so  favourably  with  her  brother  Swane,  son  to  Earl 
Godwyn,  who  upon  some  distaste  was  banished  England, 
and  thereupon  forced  to  betake  himself  to  Baldwyn  Earl  of 
Flanders,  by  whom  he  was  very  honourably  received. 
A.  D.  1041.  These  troubles  and  revolutions  in  England  were  succeeded 
by  others  of  no  less  consequence  in  Wales.  For  Howel, 
chagrined  at  being  kept  so  wrongfully  out  of  his  kingdom, 
returned  again  the  third  time  into  South  Wales,  where  he 
had  not  continued  long  before  a  great  number  of  strangers 
landed  in  the  west  of  Wales,  and  advancing  farther  into  the 
country,  pillaged  and  destroyed  all  places  they  came  to. 
Howel,  though  desirous  to  reserve  his  army  to  fight  with 
Prince  Gruffydh,  yet  could  not  behold  his  country  so  miser- 
ably wasted  and  over-run  by  strangers  ;  and  thinking  more- 
over, that  by  so  charitable  an  action  he  should  win  the 
universal  love  of  the  men  of  South  Wales,  he  drew  up  his 
forces  against  them,  and  overtaking  them  at  Pwll  Fynach, 
forced  them,  with  much  loss,  to  retire  to  their  ships ;  which 
action  was  called  in  Welsh  Gwaith  Pwll  Fynach.  At  the 
same  time  Conan,  the  son  of  lago  ap  Edwal,  who,  for  fear 
of  Prince  Gruffydh,  was  forced  to  flee  to  Ireland,  with  the 
forces  of  Alfred,  King  of  Dublin,  whose  daughter,  named 
Ranulph,  he  had  married,  landed  in  North  Wales;  and 
having,  by  some  treacherous  stratagem,  taken  Gruffvdh, 
triumphantly  carried  him  prisoner  towards  his  ships.  This 
unhappy  accident  being  discovered,  and  publicly  known,  the 
North  Wales  men  rose  on  a  sudden,  and  so  unexpectedly 
overtook  the  Irish,  that  they  easily  recovered  their  Prince, 
and  drove  his  enemies  with  great  slaughter  to  their  ships ; 
who,  without  any  further  consultation,  were  glad  to  sail 
with  Conan  for  Ireland.*  Wales,  both  North  and  South, 
being  now  free  from  all  foreign  invasion,  and  Howel,  as  yet, 
too  weak  to  dispute  his  title  with  Gruffydh,  the  next  year 

1042.  passed  without  any  occurrence  of  moment,  excepting  the 
death  of  Howel,  the  son  of  Owen,  Lord  of  Glamorgan,  a 

1043.  man  of  great  quality  and  esteem  in  Wales.     Howel,  the  son 
of  Edwyn,  however,  as  soon  as  he  could  call  in  his  Danes, 
to  whom  he  added  all  the  forces  he  could  raise  in  South 
Wales,  intended  to  march  against  Prince  Gruffydh ;  but  he 
being  previously  aware  to  what  end  those  levies  wrere  de- 
signed, prepared  against  the  approaching  storm;    and  to 
avert  the  war  from  his  own  country,  marched  courageously 
to  South  Wales,  not  fearing  to  face  an  enemy  whom  he  had 
completely  vanquished  twice  already.     Both  armies  having 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  03. 


met,  Gruffydh  easily  overcame,  and  pursued  Howel  as  far 
as  the  spring-head  of  the  river  Towy,*  where,  after  a  long 
and  a  bloody  fight,  Howel  was  at  last  slain,  and  his  army 
so  universally  routed,  that  few  escaped  with  their  lives.f 
Though  Howel  was  now  dead,  there  remained  still  more 
pretenders  to  the  principality  of  South  Wales;  so  that 
Gruffydh  had  no  great  prospect  of  enjoying  the  same  peace- 
ably:  *for  as  soon  as  it  was  published  that  HowePs  army  was 
defeated,  and  himself  slain,  Rytherch  and  Rhys,  the  sons  of 
Rytherch  ap  lestyn,  put  in  their  claim  to  South  Wales  in 
right  of  their  father,  who  had  once  enjoyed  the  sovereignty 
of  that  country;  and  in  order  to  its  recovery,  they  assembled 
together  a  great  army,  consisting  partly  of  strangers  and 
partly  of  such  as  they  could  raise  in  Gwentland  and  Gla- 
morgan, and  marched  to  fight  with  Gruffydh.  The  Prince, 
according  to  his  usual  manner,  delayed  no  time,  but  ani- 
mating and  solacing  his  soldiers  with  the  remembrance  of 
their  former  victories  and  conquests,  gave  his  enemies 
battle,  which  conflict  proved  so  very  bloody  and  protracted, 
that  nothing  could  part  them  beside  the  darkness  of  the 
night.  This  battle  so  tired  and  exhausted  both  armies, 
that  neither  was  very  desirous  of  another  engagement,  and 
the  one  being  unwilling  to  renew  the  contest  with  the  other, 
they  each  agreed  to  return  to  their  own  habitations.^:  At 
this  time  Joseph,  Bishop  of  Teilo  or  Llandaff,  died  at  Rome. 
The  contending  armies  being  separated,  Prince  Gruffydh 
enjoyed  a  quiet  and  unmolested  possession  of  all  Wales  for 
about  two  years;  after  which,  the  gentry  of  Ystrad  Towy 
treacherously  slew  140  of  his  best  soldiers,  which  made  him 
so  indignant,  that  to  revenge  their  death,  he  destroyed  all 
Dyfed  and  Ystrad  Towy. 

About  the  same  time,  Lothen  and  Hyrling,  two  Danish 
pirates,  with  a  great  number  of  Danes,  landed  at  Sandwich, 
and  having  plundered  the  town,  returned  again  to  their 
ships,  and  sailed  for  Holland,  where  they  sold  the  booty 
they  had  taken,  and  then  returned  to  their  own  country. 
Shortly  aftewards  Earl  Swayn  came  out  of  Denmark  with 
eight  ships,  and  returned  to  England,  and  coming  to  his 
father's  house  at  Pevenese,  humbly  requested  of  him,  and 
his  brothers  Harold  and  Tostie,  to  endeavour  to  obtain  his 
reconciliation  with  the  King.  Earl  Beorned  also  promised 
to  intercede  for  him,  and  going  to  Swayn's  fleet  to  sail  to 
Sandwich,  where  the  King  then  lay,  he  was  by  the  way  most 
treacherously  and  ungratefully  murdered,  and  his  body  cast 
upon  the  shore,  which  lay  there  exposed,  till  his  friends 

*  In  Caerraarthenshire.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  92.  J  Ibid. 


hearing  of  the  fact,  came  and  carried  it  to  Winchester,  and 
buried  it  by  the  body  of  King  Canute,  Beorned's  uncle. 
Swayn  having  committed  this  most  detestable  murder,  put 
himself  again  under  the  protection  of  the  Earl  of  Flanders, 
not  daring  to  shew  his  face  in  England,  till  his  father  by 
earnest  mediation  made  his  peace  with  the  King. 

This  year  Conan,  the  son  of  Tago,  raised  again  an  army 
of  his  friends  in  Ireland,  and  sailed  towards  Wales,  pur- 
posing to  recover  his  inheritance  in  that  country  ;  but  when 
he  was  come  near  the  Welsh  coast,  there  suddenly  arose 
such  a  violent  storm,  that  his  fleet  was  immediately  scattered, 
and  most  of  his  ships  wrecked,  which  rendered  this  expe- 
dition ineffectual.*  About  the  same  time,  Robert,  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  impeached  Earl  Godwyn,  and  his 
sons  Swayn  and  Harold,  of  treason,  and  the  Queen  of 
adultery,  and  upon  the  account  of  their  non-appearance 
when  cited  before  the  Peers  at  Gloucester,  the  Queen  was 
divorced,  and  Godwyn  and  his  sons  banished,  who  with  his 
son  Swayn  fled  to  Flanders,  and  Harold  to  Ireland.  These 
unhappy  occurrences,  and  the  many  troubles  that  ensued 
thereupon,  arose  upon  this  occasion  :— Eustace,  Earl  of 
Bologne,  being  married  to  Goda,  the  King's  sister,  came 
over  this  year  to  England  to  pay  King  Edward  a  visit,  and 
on  his  return  to  Canterbury,  one  of  his  retinue  forcibly 
demanding  a  lodging,  provoked  the  master  of  the  house  so 
far,  as  by  chance  or  anger  to  kill  him.  Eustace,  on  this 
affront,  returned  to  the  King,  and  by  the  insinuations  of  the 
Archbishop,  made  a  loud  complaint  against  the  Kentish 
men ;  to  repress  whose  insolencies,  Earl  Godwyn  was  com- 
manded to  raise  forces,  which  he  refused  to  do,  on  account 
of  the  kindness  he  bore  to  his  countrymen  of  Kent.  The 
king  summoned  a  parliament  at  Glocester,  and  commanded 
Godwyn  to  appear  there;  but  he,  mistrusting  either  his 
own  cause,  or  the  malice  of  his  adversaries,  gathered  a 
powerful  army  out  of  his  own  and  his  son's  earldoms,  and 
marched  towards  Glocester,  giving  out  that  their  forces 
were  to  go  against  the  Welsh,  who  intended  to  invade  the 
Marshes.  King  Edward  being  satisfied  by  the  Welsh  that 
they  had  no  such  design,  commanded  Godwyn  to  dismiss 
his  army,  and  to  appear  himself  to  answer  to  the  articles 
exhibited  against  him.  Godwyn  having  refused  to  obey, 
the  King,  by  the  advice  of  Earl  Leofrick.  summoned  an 
assembly  at  London,  whither  a  great  number  of  forces 
arrived  from  Mercia,  which  Godwyn  perceiving,  and  withal 
finding  himself  unable  to  withstand  the  king's  proceedings, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  94. 


privately  retired  with  his  sons  out  of  the  kingdom,  and  fled 
into  Flanders :  whereupon  the  king  issued  out  an  edict, 
proclaiming  Godwyn  and  his  sons  out-laws,  and  then  con- 
fiscating their  estates,  bestowed  them  upon  others  of  his 
nobility.  To  pursue  his  displeasure  the  further,  he  di- 
vorced his  Queen  Edith,  Earl  Godwyn's  daughter,  and 
committed  her  to  a  cloister,  where,  in  a  mean  condition,  she 
spent  some  part  of  her  life.  In  the  distribution  of  the  for- 
feited estates,  Adonan  obtained  the  earldoms  of  Devon  and 
Dorset,  and  Algar,  the  son  of  Leofrick,  that  of  Harold. 
Godwyn,  however,  could  not  patiently  behold  his  estate 
bestowed  upon  another ;  and,  therefore,  having  hired  some 
men  and  ships  in  Flanders,  he  sailed  to  the  Isle  of  Wight, 
and  having  made  a  sufficient  havock  there,  he  landed  at 
Portland,  which  he  treated  after  the  same  manner.  About 
the  same  time,  Harold  having  sailed  from  Ireland,  at  length 
met  with  his  father,  and  then,  with  their  united  navy,  they 
burnt  Preveneseny,  Romney,  Heath,  Folkston,  Dover, 
and  Sandwich,  and  entering  the  Thames,  they  destroyed 
Cheppy,  and  burnt  the  king's  house  at  Middletown. 
Then  they  sailed  up  the  river  towards  London,  where  the 
King's  army  being  ready  to  oppose  them,  a  treaty  of  peace 
was,  by  the  means  of  Bishop  Stigand,  agreed  upon,  which 
was  so  much  in  Godwyn's  favour,  that  the  King  received 
him  again  to  his  confidence,  restored  him  and  his  sons  to 
all  their  estates,  recalled  the  Queen,  and  banished  the 
Archbishop,  with  all  the  Frenchmen  who  had  been  pro- 
moters of  the  unhappy  suspicion  that  the  king  had  enter- 
tained of  them. 

About  this  time  Rhys,  brother  to  Gruffydh  Prince  of  A.  D.  1052, 
Wales,  who  by  several  irruptions  upon  the  borders  had 
considerably  galled  and  damaged  the  English,  was  taken 
and  put  to  death  at  Bulenden,  whose  head  being  cut  off, 
was  presented  to  the  King,  then  at  Gloucester.*  The  king  A.  D.  1053. 
received,  however,  better  news  some  time  after  from  the 
north,  for  Siward  Earl  of  Northumberland  having  sent  his 
son  against  Macbeth  King  of  Scotland,  vanquished  the 
Scots,  though  not  without  the  loss  of  his  son,  and  many 
others,  both  English  and  Danes.  Siward  was  not  cast  down 
at  his  son's  death  ;  but  enquiring  whether  he  received  his 
death's  wound  before  or  behind,  and  being  assured  that  it 
was  before,  he  replied,  "  He  was  very  glad  of  it,  for  he 
could  not  wish  his  son  to  die  otherwise."  After  this  victory 
King  Edward  marched  in  person  to  Scotland,  and  having 


*  His  head  was  cut  off  by  command  of  King  Edward  the  Confessor. — Simon  Dunehne, 
sub.  ann.  1053.— Stowe's  Chron.  p.  97.— Matth.  Westm.  p.  323.— Hist.  Angl. 


again  overcome  Macbeth  in  battle,  he  made  the  whole  king- 
dom of  Scotland  tributary  to  the  crown  of  England.  The 
next  year  Earl  Godwyn,  sitting  with  the  king  at  table, 
suddenly  sunk  down  dead,  being  choaked,  as  it  is  thought, 
in  swallowing  a  morsel  of  bread  ;  whose  earldom  the  King 
bestowed  upon  his  son  Harold,  and  Harold's  upon  Algar 
Earl  of  Chester. 

To  this  time  is  referred  the  origin  of  the  Stewards  in 
Scotland,  which  being  a  remarkable  passage,  and  in  a  great 
measure  dependant  upon  the  affairs  of  the  Welsh,  is  there- 
fore here  recorded.  Macbeth  King  of  Scotland  having 
caused  Bancho,  a  nobleman  of  that  kingdom,  to  be  in- 
humanly murdered,  Fleance,  Bancho's  son,  to  avoid  the 
like  cruelty  to  himself,  fled  to  Gruffydh  ap  Lhewelyn  Prince 
of  Wales,  who  taking  a  very  great  liking  to  his  person,  and 
commiserating  his  condition,  shewed  him  all  the  respect 
and  kindness  possible.  But  Fleance  had  not  continued 
long  with  Gruffydh  when  he  became  enamoured  of  the 
prince's  daughter,  and  havinjg  obtained  her  good-will,  with- 
out any  regard  had  to  her  father's  kindness  towards  him, 
abused  her  so  far  as  to  get  her  with  child.  Gruffydh  being 
acquainted  with  the  fact,  so  resented  the  affront,  that  he 
caused  Fleance  to  be  slain,  and  treated  his  daughter  most 
servilely  for  prostrating  her  chastity,  especially  to  a  stranger. 
However,  she  was  in  a  short  time  delivered  of  a  son,  who 
was  christened  by  the  name  of  Walter ;  a  child  who  in  his 
youth  promised  much,  and  evinced  every  probability  of  his 
making  a  very  considerable  man,  which  happened  according 
to  expectation.  The  first  evidence  of  his  future  greatness 
happened  upon  a  very  accidental  occasion  :  being  reproached 
of  bastardism  by  one  of  his  companions,  he  took  it  in  such 
dudgeon  that  nothing  could  satisfy  his  revenge  but  the  life 
of  the  aggressor.  Being  on  this  mischance  afraid  to  await 
the  award  of  the  law,  he  thought  it  expedient  to  fly  to 
Scotland,  where,  falling  in  company  with  certain  English- 
men who  were  come  thither  with  Queen  Margaret,  sister  to 
Edgar  Edeling,  he  behaved  himself  so  discreetly,  that  he 
won  the  favour  and  good  character  of  all  who  knew  him, 
and  his  fame  daily  increasing,  he  grew  at  length  to  that 
height  of  reputation  as  to  be  employed  in  the  most  urgent 
affairs  of  the  commonwealth,  and  at  last  was  made  Lord 
Steward  of  Scotland,  from  which  office  his  posterity  retained 
the  surname  of  Steward; — the  Kings  of  Scotland  of  that 
name,  with  several  other  families  of  quality  in  that  kingdom, 
being  descended  from  him.* 

*  Subsequent  researches  have  proved  that  this  passage  is  founded  in  error,  and  that  the 
Steward*  lineally  descend  from  the  ancient  Shropshire  family  of  Fitr-Alan. 


But  to  return  to  England:  Siward,  the  worthy  Earl  of 
Northumberland,  died  about  this  time  of  the  bloody  flux ; 
a  man  of  a  rough  demeanor  and  a  mere  warlike  temper,  as 
he  plainly  manifested  when  at  the  point  of  death ;  for,  be- 
wailing as  a  misfortune  that  he,  who  had  escaped  so  many 
dangerous  engagements,  should  be  laid  upon  a  bed  of 
sickness,  and  withal  disdaining  to  die  so  effeminately,  he 
caused  himself  to  be  completely  armed,  and,  as  it  were,  in 
defiance  of  death,  expired  in  this  display  of  martial  bravery. 
His  son  being  too  young,  the  king  bestowed  his  earldom 
upon  Tosty,  the  son  of  Earl  Godwyn. 

Wales  had  been  now  a  long  time  quiet,  and  free  of  all  A.  D.  1054. 
troubles  both  from  abroad  and  at  home ;  but  it  was-  not  to 
be  expected  that  such  a  calm  should  prove  durable,  but 
rather  that  something  or  other  would  create  new  commo- 
tions and  disturbances.  Accordingly  Gruffydh,  son  to 
Rytherch  ap  lestyn,  having  recruited  and  recovered  himself 
after  the  last  defeat  he  received  from  Prince  Gruffydh,  ven- 
tured another  trial  for  the  principality  of  South  Wales.* 
The  Prince,  losing  no  time,  speedily  marched  against  him, 
and  both  armies  having  met,  Gruffydh  ap  Rytherch  was 
easily  vanquished,  and  finally  was  slain.  But  the  troubles 
of  the  Welsh  did  not  end  with  him;  for  Algar  Earl  of 
Chester  being  convicted  of  treason,  and  thereupon  banished 
the  kingdom,  fled  to  Gruffydh  Prince  of  Wales,  requesting 
his  aid  against  King  Edward ;  and  Gruffydh  reciting  the 
frequent  wrongs  he  had  received  at  the  hands  of  the  Eng- 
lish, by  their  upholding  his  enemies  against  him,  gladly 
embraced  the  opportunity,  and  promised  him  all  imaginable 
support :  and  thereupon  assembling  his  forces,  he  entered 
with  him  into  Herefordshire,  and  advancing  into  the  country  1055. 
within  two  miles  of  the  city  of  Hereford,  they  were  opposed 
by  Randulph,  Earl  of  that  country,  who  boldly  gave  them 
battle.  The  fight  continued  very  dreadful  and  dubious  for 
some  hours,  till  at  last  Gruffydh  so  encouraged  his  soldiers 
with  the  remembrance  of  their  former  victories  over  the 
English,  that  they  attacked  the  English  with  renewed 
energy,  and  easily,  discomfited  Randulph,  and  slew  the  best 
part  of  his  army.  Afterwards  they  pursued  their  chase  to 
the  town,  and  having  made  all  the  waste  and  havoc  they 
were  able,  they  laid  the  town  itself  in  ashes,  and  so  returned 
home  triumphantly,  laden  with  rich  booty  and  plunder.f 


*  Welsh  Chron,  p.  98. 

f  The  Welsh  in  this  en^a^ement  cut  in  pieces  four  or  five  hundred  of  the  fugitives, 
and  having  entered  into  Hereford  they  burnt  the  Minster,  and  slew  seven  of  the  canons 
who  rashly  attempted  to  defend  it. — Saxon  Chron.  p.  169. — Roger  Hovedon,  p.  443,  444. 
— Simon  Tuaelme,  p.  188.— Matth.  Westm.p.  324- 


King  Edward  receiving  notice  of  this  invasion,  presently 
gathered  a  great  army  at  Gloucester  under  the  conduct  of 
Harold,  Earl  Godwyn's  son,  who  courageously  pursuing  the 
enemy,  entered  into  Wales,  and  encamped  beyond  Strad- 
clwyd;  but  Gruflfydh  and  Algar  dreading  to  oppose  him, 
retired  further  into  South  Wales,  of  which  Harold  being 
certified,  left  one  part  of  his  army  behind  (with  orders  to 
fight,  if  occasion  required),  and  with  the  other  passed  to 
Hereford,  which  he  fortified  with  a  strong  wall  round  the 
town.     Gruffydh,  perceiving  his  undaunted  industry,  after 
many  messages,  concluded  a  peace  with  Harold  at  a  place 
called  Biligelhag,  by  which  articles  Algar  was  pardoned  by 
the  king,  and  restored  to  his  earldom  of  Chester.*      He  did 
not,  however,  continue  long  in  the  king's  favour  ;    for  about 
two  years  after,  upon  conviction  of  treason,  he  was  again 
banished  the  land,  so  that  he  was  forced  to  betake  himself 
to  his  old  friend,  Gruffydh  Prince  of  Wales,  by  whose  aid, 
and  that  of  a  fleet  from  Norway,  in  defiance  of  the  king  he 
was   restored  to  his   earldom.      King  Edward  was  much 
offended  with  the  Prince  of  Wales  for  thus    harbouring 
traitors,  and  therefore,  to  be  revenged  upon  him,  he  dis- 
patched Harold  again  with  an  army  to  North  Wales,  who, 
coming  to  Ruthlan,  burnt  the  Prince's  palace  there,  and  his 
fleet  that  lay  in  the  harbour,  and  then  returned  to  the  king 
at  Gloucester. 

This  year  Edward,  the  son  of  Edmund  Ironsides,  who 

was  sent  for  out  of  Hungary,  being  designed  successor  to 

the  crown,  came  to  England,  but  in  a  short  time  after  his 

coming  died  at  London,  leaving  a  son  named  Edgar  Edeling, 

and  a  daughter  named  Margaret,  who  was  afterwards  Queen 

of  the  Scots,  and  mother  to  Maud,  the  wife  of  Henry  the 

A.D.  1056.  First.     About  two  years  after,  Roderic,  son  to  Harold  King 

of  Denmark,  came  with  a  considerable  army  into  Wales, 

and  being  kindly  received  by  Prince  GruflTydh,  united  his 

force  with  the  Welsh,  and  so  entered  into  England,  which 

they  cruelly  harassed  and  laid  waste ;   but  before  they  could 

advance  any  considerable  distance,  Roderic  was  compelled 

to  sail  for   Denmark,   and  Gruffydh  returned  laden  with 

spoils  into  Wales.    At  this  time  also  Harold,  Earl  Godwyn's 

son,  sailing  to  Flanders,  was  driven  by  force  of  weather  to 

land  at  Poytiers,  where  being  taken  prisoner,  he  was  brought 

before  William,  the  bastard  Duke  of  Normandy,  to  whom 

he  declared  the  reason  of  his  voyage,  that  it  was  purposely 

to  tender  him  his  service  in  the  affairs  of  England ;  and  so 

taking  an  oath,  first  to  marry  the  Duke's  daughter,  and 


*  Roger  Hovedon,  pp.  443,  444. —Simon  Bur.elmfj'p.  188.— Matth.  Wcstm.  p.  324. 


after  the  death  of  Edward  to  secure  the  kingdom  of  Eng- 
land for  him,  he  was  honourably  dismissed.  Upon  his 
return  to  England,  by  the  persuasions  of  Caradoc  the  son 
of  Gruffydh  ap  Rytherch,  he,  with  his  brother  Tosty,  raised 
a  great  army  and  entered  into  South  Wales,*  which  they  A.  D.  1064. 
ravaged  to  such  a  degree  that  the  Welsh  were  glad  to 
deliver  up  hostages  for  the  payment  of  that  tribute  which 
aforetime  they  used  to  pay.  Gruffydh  hearing  of  the  inso- 
lencies  of  the  English  in  South  Wales,  made  every  possible 
haste  and  preparation  to  oppose  them,  but  to  no  purpose  ;f 
Harold  having  already  treacherously  hired  some  of  Gruf- 
fydh's  nearest  friends  to  murder  him,  who  watching  their 
opportunity,  executed  their  wicked  design  and  brought  his 
head  to  Harold.  £  Gruffydh  being  dead,  Harold  (by  King 
Edward's  orders)  appointed  Meredith,  son  of  Owen  ap 
Edwyn,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  and  gave  the  government  of 
North  Wales  §  to  Blethyn  and  Rywalhon,  the  sons  of 
Confyn,  brothers  by  the  mother's  side  to  Prince  Gruffydh, 
and  who  probably,  for  the  desire  of  rule,  were  accessary  to 
the  murder  of  that  noble  prince.  Thus  Gruffydh  ap  Lhew- 
elyn  enjoyed  the  principality  of  Wales  for  the  space  of 
thirty-four  years.  He  was  a  prince  of  incomparable  virtues, 
both  wise  and  valiant,  beloved  of  his  subjects  and  formidable 
to  his  enemies,  in  all  his  actions  behaving  himself  great  and 
princely ;  and  having  valiantly  defended  his  country  against 
all  foreign  opposition,  he  was  far  unworthy  of  that  treacherous 
and  cruel  death  which  his  unkind  subjects  and  unnatural 
friends  inflicted  upon  him.  He  left  issue  but  one  daughter, 
named  Nest,  abused  first  by  Fleance  son  of  Bancho,  and 
afterwards  married  to  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc  Prince  of  North 


A  FTER  the  deplorable  mnrder  of  Prince  Gruffydh, 
Meredith,  the  son  of  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  who,  according  to 
some,  was  son  to  Howel  Dha,  took  upon  him,  as  it  is  said, 
the  government  of  South  Wales,  and  Blethyn  and  Rywalhon 
the  sons  of  Confyn,  half-brothers  to  Gruffydh,  as  descended 
from  Angharad  daughter  to  Meredith,  sometime  Prince  of 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  101.  f  *1)id- 

J  Together  with  the  prow  of  the  ship  in  which  he  returned.— Simon  Dunelme,  p.  191. 

§   And  Powys. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  102.  — Simon  Dunrlme,  p.  1P2. — Willtam 

Mnlmsbury,  p.  94. 


Wales,*  entered  upon  the  principality  of  North  Wales; 
Conan,  the  son  of  lago  ap  Edwal,  the  right  heir  to  that 
crown,  being  then  with  his  father-in-law  in  Ireland.  This 
partition  of  Wales  fell  much  short  of  the  expectation  of 
Caradoc  ap  Gruffydh  ap  Rytherch,  who  being  the  chief 
promoter  of  Harold's  making  an  expedition  against  Gruf- 
fydh ap  Lhewelyn,  had  expected  to  obtain  the  government 
of  South  Wales,  in  case  of  Gruffydh  being  defeated  :  but  it 
happened  otherwise ;  for  Harold  being  sensible  of  Caradoc's 
subtilty  and  knavery,  and  doubting  whether  (if  he  was  made 
Prince  of  South  Wales)  he  could  obtain  a  certain  lordship 
nigh  Hereford,  for  which  he  had  a  great  desire,  he  made  a 
composition  with  Meredith  ap  Owen  for  the  said  lordship, 
and  created  him  Prince  of  South  Wales, f  and  banished 
Caradoc  out  of  the  country.  Harold  having  obtained  the 
consent  of  Meredith  ap  Owen,  built  a  very  magnificent 
house  at  a  place  called  Portascyth,  in  Monmouthshire,^  and 
storing  it  with  a  great  quantity  of  provision,  splendidly 
entertained  the  King,  who  honoured  him  with  a  visit.  It 
was  by  no  means  pleasing  to  Tosty  to  see  his  younger 
brother  in  greater  esteem  and  favour  with  the  king  than 
himself;  and  having  concealed  his  displeasure  for  a  time, 
he  could  not  forbear  at  length  from  evincing  his  dissatis- 
faction :  accordingly,  one  day  at  Windsor,  while  Harold 
reached  the  cup  to  King  Edward,  Tosty,  ready  to  burst  for 
envy  that  his  brother  was  so  much  respected  beyond  himself, 
could  not  refrain  from  running  furiously  upon  him,  and 
pulling  him  by  the  hair,  dragged  him  to  the  ground,  for 
which  unmannerly  action  the  king  forbade  him  the  court :  § 
but  he  with  continued  rancour  and  malice  rode  to  Hereford, 
where  Harold  had  many  servants  preparing  an  entertainment 
for  the  king,  and  setting  upon  them  with  his  followers, 
lopped  off  the  hands  and  legs  of  some,  the  arms  and  heads 
of  others,  and  threw  them  into  the  butts  of  wine  and  other 
liquors  which  were  put  in  for  the  king's  drinking,  and  at  his 
departure  charged  the  servants  to  acquaint  Harold,  "  That 
"  of  other  fresh  meats  he  might  carry  with  him  what  he 
"  pleased,  but  for  sauce  he  should  find  plenty  provided 
"  ready  for  him."  ||  For  this  barbarous  offence  the  king 
pronounced  a  sentence  of  perpetual  banishment  upon  Tosty.^I 
But  Caradoc  ap  Gruffydh  gave  a  finishing  stroke  to  Harold's 
house,  and  to  the  king's  entertainment  at  Portascyth ;  for 
coming  thither  shortly  after  Tosty's  departure,  to  be  re- 

*  William  Malmsbury,  p.  94.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  102. 

t  Portaskewith,  in  Monmouthshire. — Simon  Dunelmt-,  p.  192. 

§  Simon  Dunelme,  p.  192.     ||  Matth.  Westm  p.  331. 
f  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  104, 105.— Simon  Dunelme,  p.  192.— Camden's  Brit.  p.  597. 


venged  upon  Harold,  he  killed  all  the  workmen  and  labour- 
ers, with  all  the  servants  he  could  find,  and  utterly  defacing 
the  building,  carried  away  all  the  costly  materials  which, 
at  a  great  expense,  had  been  brought  thither  to  beautify  and 
adorn  the  structure.*  Soon  after  this,  the  Northumbrians 
(who  could  not  endure  the  insolencies  of  the  two  brothers 
Harold  and  Tosty,  who,  bearing  an  uncontroulable  sway  in 
the  kingdom,  were  accustomed  to  practise  the  most  hellish 
villainies  to  obtain  any  man's  estate  that  displeased  them,) 
in  a  tumult  at  York  beset  the  palace  of  Tosty,  and  having 
pillaged  his  treasure,  slew  all  his  family,  as  well  Englishmen 
as  Danes.  Then  joining  to  themselves  the  people  of  Lincoln, 
Nottingham,  and  Derbyshire,  they  elected  Marcher  the  son 
of  Earl  Algar  their  general,  to  whom  came  his  brother 
Edwyn  with  a  considerable  number  of  troops,  and  a  great 
party  of  Welshmen.  Then  they  marched  in  a  hostile  manner 
to  Northampton,  where  Harold  met  them,  being  sent  by  the 
king  to  know  their  demands ;  to  whom  they  laid  open  their 
grievances,  and  the  cruelty  of  Tosty's  government,  and,  at 
last,  with  an  absolute  refusal  of  admitting  him  again,  desired 
that  Marcher  should  be  appointed  Earl  over  them,  which 
the  King,  upon  the  reasonable  complaints  of  injuries  done 
by  Tosty,  easily  granted,  and  willingly  confirmed  Marcher's 
title :  whereupon  they  peaceably  returned  back  to  the  north, 
and  the  Welsh,  with  several  prisoners  and  other  booties  got 
in  this  expedition,  returned  to  Wales. 

The  year  following,  King  Edward  died,  and  was  buried  A.  D.  1066. 
at  Westminster,  being  the  last  king  of  the  Saxon  blood  be-  lst  Of 
fore  the  conquest  that  governed  the  kingdom  of  England,  William  the 
which  from  Cerdic  King  of  the  West  Saxons  had  continued 
544,  and  from  Egbert  the  first  monarch,  171  years.  Edward 
being  dead;  the  next  difference  was  about  the  election  of  a 
successor,  Edgar  Edeling  being  set  up  by  some  as  lawful 
heir  to  the  crown,  which  Harold,  as  being  a  person  of 
greater  power  and  authority  in  the  kingdom,  much  wealthier 
and  more  befriended,  presently  thwarted,  and  brought  mat- 
ters so  cunningly  about,  that  himself  was  chosen  king,  with- 
out any  regard  observed  to  the  oath  and  promise  he  had 
formerly  made  to  William  Duke  of  Normandy.  Duke 
William  upon  notice  of  Harold's  advancement,  and  that  he 
had  accepted  of  the  crown  of  England  contrary  to  the  articles 
between  them,  convened  together  his  nobles,  and  laid  before 
them  the  several  wrongs  and  affronts  he  had  received  at  the 
han<7s  of  Harold,  as  the  death  of  his  cousin  Alfred,  the 

*  Matthew  Westm.— Welsh  Chron.  &c. 


banishment  of  Archbishop  Robert,  Earl  Odan,  and  all  the 
Normans,  and,  lastly,  the  breach  of  his  oath  and  promise. 
Then  he  declared  to  them  the  pretence  he  had  to  claim  the 
crown  of  England,  that  Edward  had  given  him  formerly  an 
absolute  promise  in  Normandy,  that  if  ever  he  enjoyed  the 
English  crown,  William  should  be  his  heir;  which  title, 
though  in  itself  weak  and  insignificant,  served  William's 
purpose  well  enough  to  make  an  expedition  against  an  in- 
truder.    Duke  William's  pretence  seemed  plausible  enough 
to  the  Norman  nobility,  but  the  difficulty  of  the  undertaking 
and  the  danger  of  this  expedition  was  somewhat  perplexing, 
and  made  them  less  inclinable  to  encourage  so  precipitous 
an  undertaking;  which  they  the  more  disliked   upon  the 
persuasion  of  William  Fitzosbert  the  Duke's  sewer,  whom 
they  pitched  upon  to  deliver  their  thoughts  as  to  the  expedi- 
tion unto  the  duke ;  but  he,  instead  of  dissuading  him  from 
this  voyage,  politicly  declared  that  himself  with  all  his 
powrer  were  ready  to  live  and  die  with  him  in  this  expedition, 
which  the  rest  hearing  could  not  but  offer  the  duke  their 
service  in  the  same  manner ;  and  so  all  things  were  prepared 
for  an  invasion  of  England.     In  the  mean  while  Tosty,  full 
of  indignation  at  his  brother's  advancement  to  the  crown, 
entered  the  river  H umber  with  forty  sail,  but  meeting  with 
Earl  Edwyn,  who  came  to  oppose  him,  he  was  forced  after 
a  considerable  encounter  to  bear  off,  and  secure  himself  by 
flight ;  but  meeting  with  Harold  King  of  Norway  upon  the 
coast  of  Scotland,  coming  for  England  with  three  hundred 
sail,  he  joined  his  forces  with  Harold,  and  so  both  together 
entering  the  Humber,  they  landed  their  army  and  marched 
to  York,  where  the  Earls  Edwyn  and  Marcher  unsuccess- 
fully gave  them  battle.    Having  pillaged  and  destroyed  that 
city,  they  passed  on  to  Stamford-bridge,  and  there  met  with 
King  Harold,  who  with  a  well  disciplined  army  was  come 
to  stop  their  farther  career.      After  a  long  and  terrible 
fight,  and  much  bloodshed  on  both  sides,  the  Norwegians 
began  at  last  to  give  way,  which  the  English  perceiving, 
fell  on  so  manfully  that  few  or  none  escaped  with  their  lives, 
Harold  and  Tosty  being  also  slain  upon  the  spot.     One  of 
the  Norwegians  is  deservedly  recorded  for  his  incomparable 
exploits    performed  in  this  battle,    who  with   incredible 
valour,  maintaining  the  bridge  against  the  whole  strength 
of  the  English  army  for  above  an  hour,  by  his  single  resist- 
ance delayed  their  victory,  and  having  slain  a  great  number 
of  his  enemies,  he  seemed  invincible,  till  in  the  end,  no  one 
daring  to  grapple  with  him  fairly,  he  was  run  through  with 
a  spear  from  under  the  bridge,  and  so  by  his  fall  a  passage 



was  opened  for  pursuit  to  complete  the  victory.  King 
Harold  overjoyed  with  this  success,  triumphantly  entered 
into  York,  and  whilst  he  was  making  merry  with  his  nobles 
at  a  sumptuous  feast,  news  came  that  Duke  William  of 
Normandy  was  safely  landed  at,  and  began  to  fortify  himself 
in,  Hastings,  with  which  tidings  being  no  way  dashed,  as 
fearing  nothing  after  his  late  victory,  he  forthwith  marched 
towards  him,  and  as  soon  as  he  was  arrived  in  Sussex,  with- 
out any  consideration  of  the  fatigue  his  army  had  undergone 
in  their  march,  gave  William  battle.  The  Duke,  dividing 
his  army  into  five  battalions,  made  a  long  harangue  to  his 
soldiers,  wherein  he  repeated  and  commended  the  noble  acts 
of  their  ancestors  the  Danes  and  Norwegians,  who  had  per- 
petually vanquished  the  English  and  French,  and  other 
nations,  as  many  as  they  had  to  do  with  ,•  and  that  them- 
selves, being  well  horsed  and  armed,  were  now  to  engage 
with  a  people  void  of  both,  who  had  no  other  defence  to 
trust  to,  than  the  nimbleness  and  swiftness  of  their  heels. 
Both  armies  being  joined  upon  the  14th  day  of  October, 
Duke  William,  after  some  hours  engaging,  ordered  his  army 
so  to  retire,  as  if  they  seemed  to  fly,  which  the  English 
perceiving,  broke  their  ranks  in  haste  of  pursuing  the  sup- 
posed fugitive,  which  falling  out  according  to  the  Duke's 
expectation,  he  sent  in  a  fresh  supply  of  Normans,  who, 
falling  upon  the  confused  battalions  of  the  English,  easily 
overcame  them,  and  Harold  receiving  first  a  wound  by  an 
arrow  was  at  length  slain,  and  then  both  the  field  and  the 
victory  were  left  to  the  Normans.  The  day  being  thus  won, 
William,  from  this  time  called  the  Conqueror,  went  straight 
to  London,  where  he  was  received  with  all  possible  formality, 
and  upon  Christmas-day  solemnly  crowned  King  of  England. 
This  change  and  alteration  in  England  was  previously  prog- 
nosticated by  a  comet  which  appeared  in  the  spring  of  this 
year,  upon  which  a  certain  poet  made  the  following  verses : 

Anno  milleno  sexageno  quoque  seno, 
Anglorum  metce  flammas  censer e  cometce. 

King  William  having  established  himself  on  the  throne  A.  D.  1066. 
of  England,  passed  over  the  next  year  to  Normandy,  so  to 
settle  affairs  there,  as  afterwards  they  might  have  no  need 
of  his  presence.  In  the  mean  while  Edgar  Edeling,  taking 
advantage  of  his  absence,  returned  from  Scotland  to  York, 
being  declared  king  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  country,  who 
had  already  slain  Robert,  upon  whom  William  had  bestowed 
that  earldom,  with  nine  hundred  of  his  men.  But  the  king 
upon  his  return  to  Normandy  presently  marched  to  the 

G  2 


north,  and  having  sufficiently  revenged  himself  upon  the 
inhabitants,  by  wasting  and  destroying  their  country,  chased 
Edgar  to  Scotland  again.  The  like  advantage  Edric  Syl- 
vaticus,  the  son  of  Alfric  Earl  of  Mercia,  embraced,  who 
refusing  to  hold  any  submission  to  the  conqueror,  took  the 
opportunity  of  his  departure  to  Normandy  to  fall  foul  upon 
such  as  were  appointed  vicegerents  and  governors  of  the 
kingdom  in  his  absence:  whereupon  Richard  Fitzserope, 
governor  of  the  castle  of  Hereford,  with  the  forces  under 
his  command,  so  much  harassed  him,  by  wasting  and  con- 
suming his  lands  and  carrying  off  the  goods  of  his  tenants, 
that  he  was  compelled  to  desire  aid  of  Blethyn  and  Ry  walhon 
Princes  of  Wales,  by  whose  help,  to  recompense  the  loss  he 
had  received,  he  passed  into  Hereford,  and  after  that  he 
had  over-run  and  pillaged  the  country  to  Wyebridge,*  re- 
turned back  with  exceeding  great  booty.  But  no  sooner 
were  Blethyn  arid  Ry  walhon  arrived  in  North  Wales,  but 
they  received  news  of  a  rebellion  raised  against  them  by 
Meredith  and  Ithel,  the  sons  of  GrufFydh  ap  Lhewelyn, 
who  had  drawn  together  a  considerable  number  of  men,, 
upon  pretence  of  recovering  the  principality  of  North 
Wales,  which  they  said  was  fraudulently  detained  from 
them.  Blethyn  and  Rywalhon  did  not  delay  going  in  quest 
of  their  enemies,  and  meeting  with  them  at  a  place  called 
Mechain,f  without  any  farther  ceremony,  set  upon  the 
rebels,  who  behaved  themselves  so  gallantly,  that  after  a 
fight  of  several  hours  they  wanted  nothing  but  numbers  to 
complete  the  victory.  There  fell  in  this,  battle  on  the  one 
side  Prince  Rywalhon,  and  on  the  other  Ithel,  who  being 
A.  D.  1068.  slain,  Meredith  was  forced  to  give  way  and  endeavour  to 
save  himself  by  flight,  which  could  not  secure  him,  he  being 
so  narrowly  pursued  by  Blethyn,  that,  in  fine,  he  was  glad 
to  escape  to  the  mountains,  where,  for  want  of  victuals  and 
other  necessaries,  he  soon  perished,  leaving  Blethyn  ap 
Confyn  sole  Prince  of  North  Wrales  and  Powis.J  During 
these  Welsh  disturbances,  Swane  King  of  Denmark,  and 
Osburn  his  brother,  with  three  hundred  sail,  came  up  the 
Humber,  and  being  joined  by  Edgar  Edeling  and  Earl 
Waltelfe  marched  to  York,  and  taking  the  castle  disposed 
of  their  forces  to  winter  quarters,  betwixt  the  rivers  Ouse 
and  Trent.  The  king  understanding  the  matter,  posted  to 
the  north ;  whose  coming  so  dashed  the  confederates,  that 
they  quickly  dispersed  their  power,  and  the  Danes  escaped 
to  their  ships,  and  the  king  having  taken  vengeance  upon 


*  Simon  Dunelme,  p.  197. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  109. 
f  In  the  present  County  of  Montgomery.  J  Welsh  Chron.  p.  109. 


the  rebellious  inhabitants  of  the  country,  and,  upon  his 
submission,  having  pardoned  Earl  Waltelfe,  returned  back 
to  London. 


ABOUT  the  same  time  Caradoc,  son  to  Gruffydh  ap 
Rhytherch  ap  lestyn,  all  this  while  being  much  dissatis- 
fied that  he  could  not  attain  to  the  principality  of  South 
Wales,  invited  over  a  great  number  of  Normans,  to  whom 
he  joined  all  the  forces  he  could  raise  out  of  Gwentland, 
and  other  parts  of  Wales.  Then  attacking  Prince  Meredith,  A.  D.  1070. 
who  was  far  too  weak  to  encounter  so  considerable  an  army, 
gave  him  an  easy  overthrow  near  the  river  Rymhy,*  where 
Meredith  was  slain,  and  so  Caradoc  obtained  the  govern- 
ment of  South  Wales,  which  for  a  long  time  he  had  en- 
deavoured sinistrously  to  encompass.  He  had  sometime 
before  procured  Harold  to  make  an  invasion  upon  Gruffydh 
ap  Lhewelyn,  purposely  that  himself  might  arrive  at  the 
principality  of  South  Wales ;  and  failing  then  of  his  expecta- 
tion, he  now  invited  over  the  Normans,  not  being  willing  to 
trust  the  English  any  more,  by  reason  that  he  had  so  un- 
gratefully been  prevented  by  Harold  ;  so  that  it  seems  he 
cared  not  by  what  course,  or  by  whose  means  he  should 
gain  his  point ;  though  it  were  by  the  ruin  and  destruction 
of  his  country,  which  hitherto  he  had  earnestly  promoted. 
Being  at  length  advanced  to  his  long  expected  government 
of  South  Wales  (which,  though  not  recorded,  seems  yet 
very  probable,  by  reason  that  his  son  Rhytherch  ap  Caradoc 
enjoyed  the  same  very  soon  after),  he  did  not  enjoy  this 
honour  long,  but  dying  in  a  short  time  after  his  advance- 
ment, left  to  succeed  him  his  son  Rytherch  ap  Caradoc. 
At  the  same  time  that  Caradoc  carried  on  this  rebellion  in 
Wales,  the  Earls  Edwyn,  Marcher,  and  Hereward  revolted 
from  the  King  of  England;  but  Edwyn  suspecting  the 
success  of  their  affairs,  and  determining  to  retire  to  Malcolm 
King  of  Scotland,  in  his  journey  thither  was  betrayed,  and 
slain  by  his  own  followers.  Then  Marcher  and  Hereward 
betook  themselves  to  the  Isle  of  Ely,  which,  though  suffi- 
ciently fortified,  was  so  warmly  besieged  by  the  King,  that 
Marcher  and  his  accomplices  were  in  a  short  time  forced  to 
surrender  themselves  up  prisoners ;  only  Hereward  made 
his  escape  to  Scotland :  but  the  king  followed  him  closely ; 

*  Prympyn,  a  river  in  that  country. 


and  after  he  had  received  homage  of  Malcolm  King  of 
Scotland,  returned  hack  to  Kngland  ;  tuul  after  a  short  stax 
here,  passed  over  to  Normandy,  \\IUMV  he  rcceixed  Kdii;ar 
Kdehnij,  a^am  lo  mercy. 

A.D.  1071.      The  next  sear  the  Normans,  having  already  tasted  of  the 
sweetness  of  \xasting  and   plundering  a  country,  came  oxer 
again  to   \N 'ales  ;   and   basing  spoiled  and   destroyed    Dxfed 
and  the  country  of  Cardigan,  returned  honuMvith  xerx  great 
spoil  ;  and   the    following  year   sailed   over  again   for  more 
booty.      About    the    same    time,    Neythyd,    Bishop    of  St. 
I  )a\  id's,  died,  and  was  sneeeeded  hx  one  Snlien.      This  \\as 
not  all  the  misfortune  that   hefel   the  Welsh  ;    for   Kadnlph 
Marl  of  the  Kast  Angles,  together  with  l\oger  Karl  of  Here- 
lord  and    lOarl  \\'altelpe,  entered   into  a   eonspiraex  against 
King    \\illiam,    appointing    the   da\    of   marriage    between 
Kadnlph  and   Roger's  sister,   \\hieh  \\as  to  he  solemni/ed  in 
KSM>\,   to  tn'at   of  ami  conclude  their  design.*      Radulph's 
mother  was  come  out  of  Wales,  and,   upon  that  account,  he 
"united  oxer  sexeral  of  her  friends  and  relations  to  the  red- 
ding ;  meaning  chietlN ,  under  the  colour  of  seeming  alleetion, 
by  their  help  and  procurement  to  bring  over  the  princes  and 
people  of   Wales,    to  favour  anil     assist   his  undertaking  ;f 
but    King  William  heim;  acquainted   with   the  whole   plot, 
quickly  ruined  all  their  intrigues;  and  unexpectedly  coming 
from  Normandy,    surprised  the  conspirators ;    excepting 
Radulph,  \\ho  either  doubted  of  the  success  of  their  affairs, 
or  else  had  intimation  gi\ en  him  of  the  king's   landing,  and 
prexiousK  took  shipping  at  Norwich,  and  fled  to  Denmark. 
\\altelpeand    Roi^er  \\ere  exei'uteil.   and  all  the  other  ad- 
herents  punished  ;J   more  particnlarl)  the  Welsh,   some  of 
whom  were  hanged,  others  hail  their  ex. es  put  out,  and  the 
A.D.  107:1.  rest  \xere  l>anislu*d.      Soon  aHer,    Blethxn  ap  ('onlxn  Prince 
7th  of     of  \\  ales  \\as    basely  and    treacherously   murdered    bx    Rhxs 
AVilliaiiitlir  ;ip  ()\xen  ap  Kd\\\n   and    the  gentlemen  of  N  strail   TXNXX,^ 
Conqueror.  nfior  ju.  |i;ui   n.Jo,u»d   thirteen  years:    a   prince  of  singular 
qualifications  and   virtues,   and  a   mvat   observer  of  justice 
and   eijuitx  towards  his  .subjects;   he  xxas  xery   liberal   and 
munificent,  being  indeed  xerx  able,  haxing  a  prodigious  and 
almost  incredible  estate,  as  appears  by  these  verses  made 
upon  it; 

Blethyn  ap  Confyn 
]Si  fum  bioedh  fien 

bob  Ctrys 



•  Malth.  P*ri«,  p.  7 j  Wttt*1  edition.  f  Wchh  Chron.  p.  111.  J  Ib 

^  Welsh  Annals,  lll,-~0wca  up  Edwyn  was  the  youngest  son  of  Howel  Dh&. 


lie  had  tour  wive*.  In  whom  he  li;ul  issue  as  follows,  vr/.  : 
Meredith  In  liner  daughter  of  (Minn,  his  first  wile; 
1. In  \vnrch  ami  ( 1ndos*an  by  the  second  ;  Madoc  atul  Kir\d 
by  the  third  ;  and  lorwerth  b\  his  last.* 


Jt>LETHYN  being,  as  is  said,  traitorously  murdered,  A. D.  1073. 
i  here  was  no  regard  had  to  his  issue,  ns  to  their  right  of 

.succession;  but  Trahacrn  ap  (\iradoc  his  cousin  ^orman, 
biMiii;  a  person  of  mval  pov>cr  and  swny  iu  the  country,  \vas 
unnnimousK  elected  IViiuv  of  North  NYalcs,  and  Rhys ap 
O\\en  \vitli  Rythereh  ap  Caradoc  jointlx  p>vemeil  J^outu 
NN 'aK's.  Trahaorn,  indeed,  had  sonu*  predMire  to  that 
principality,  as  having  married  Nest,  the  only  surviving 
issue  of  that  i^ivat  priuco  (initlxdli  ap  Lhewelyu:  \\hosi* 
two  si>us  MiMvdith  and  itlu'l  were  lalelx  slain  in  their 
attempt  against  Hleth\n  and  Ixywalhon ;  but  his  title  did 
not  secure  him  in  Ins  n;o\  eminent  so  nnieh  as  Ins  possession, 
siiu'e  there  was  one  still  living,  though  not  much  regarded, 
who,  \\ithout  am  dispute,  uas  true  heir  and  proprietor  of 
the  prineipalit\  ol'  North  ^'alcs.  This  was  (iruflydh  son 
ti>  (\Mian.  son  to  laj^o  ap  I'Mwal,  who  being  informed  ol'lhe 
death  of  Hlethyn  aj>  Contyn,  and  the  advancement  of  Tra- 
haeru,  though!  this  a  proper  time  to  endeavour  the  IVCOMM-N 
of  what  was  (ml)  his  right,  and  out  of  which  he  had  been  all 
this  time  most  wrongfully  excluded.  ^  hcrclore,  having 
obtained  help  in  Ireland,  where  he  privately  sojourned 
during  the  reign  of  Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  from  Encumolhon 


*  Hw  first  wife,  Hacr,  wa*  a  widow,  very  beautiful :  she  was  the  daughter  nud  heiress 
o!"i;ill>M,  tlu-sonof  Klaiilii  Uhudd,  ortho  bloody  wolf  of  (u^st,  in  Klionydtl.     Hy  t'ynfyn 

llinlrct',  licr  l\\^\  Inisb.unl,  «.lic  » ;»s  m.\\uliuoll)cr  to  Uiriil,  «l»ot»>olv  tlic  Appellation  of 
Illaidd,  or  tho  \\o\\\  as  dcsivudrd  fn'«n  Ulaidd  Ithudd  Jihovi-  incntioiifd.  The  famous 
llowrl  >  ptMlol.ut  was  tb«-  sou  ol'  (;«rnllian.  d.ui^litiM-  to  Uin.l  1'l.ii.UI.  'I'lu-ri-  is  a  \Vrlsli 
poem  t-\(.int  of  I'uiddrUv  IM  \.l\ihl  m.»«  r,  thr  i;u\U  b.inl,  «  l»o  tlonrishcil  aboul  the  >  ear 
11(50,  on  ivturnin-;-  thanUs  to  Kiml  lor  a  Tun-  sword  with  whieh  lie  had  presented  him.— 
>  orke's  lio\  al  Tubi-.s  p.  1'28.  The  following  is  a  translation  of  ft  portion  of  this  poem: 

"  1  luv<<  ,i  (ViiMiilly  w»H'.  si.\iuls  l»y  inc.  to  rinvh 
'l'h<-  ui.Millini;  (.',•."     It  iMiot  tlu-  Ion-si  »»U.  si-.UIorinjr 
Tlu-  l)i»i-ml<-vx  il>.,k.   luil  tin-  \volT  of  tlu>  li.-ltl  of  buttle  i 
Though  at  otln-r  times  he  is  uulil  .uul  liberal." 

Mr.  Vaughan,  of  Hcngwrt,  informs  us  "  Hint  CriilTtuKl  ab  Cynan,  Rhys  ah  Tewdwr,  and 

l'vleildyn\\b  (\tnfyn,  nude  diligent  seareb  after  the  arms,  ensigns,  and  pedigrees  of  their 
aneestors,  (he  noi.ility,  nud  kings  of  (he  Prit-Mis.  \M>at  the>  diseov.-red  by  their  psiins 
in  any  pap»-r-.  an<l  reeoriU,  was  aflerw  ;mi?.  l'\  tlie  l>.u  Is  digested,  and  put  into  books,  and 
they  ordained  five  royal  tribes,  there  being  only  three  before,  from  whom  their  posterity 
to  this  day  can  derive  themselves;  ami  aUo  fifteen  special  tribes,  of  whom  the  gentry  of 

North  Wales  are  for  the  most  part  descended." 


King  of  Ultonia,  and  from  Ranalht  and  Mathawn,  two  other 
kings  of  that  country,  he  sailed  for  Wales,  and  landed  in 
the  Isle  of  Anglesey,  which  he  easily  reduced  and  brought 
to  subjection.*  At  the  same  time  Cynwric  ap  Rywalhon,  a 
nobleman  of  Maelor  or  Bromfield,  was  slain  in  North  Wales, 
but  how,  or  upon  what  account,  is  not  known.  Whilst 
Gruflfydh  ap  Conan  endeavoured  to  dispossess  Trahaern  of 
North  Wales,  Gronow  and  Lhewelyn,  the  sons  of  Cadwgan 
ap  Blethyn,  having  united  their  forces  with  Caradoc  ap 
Gruffydh  ap  Rytherch,  intended  to  revenge  the  murder  of 
their  grandfather  Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  upon  Rhys  ap  Owenf 
and  Rytherch  ap  Caradoc,  the  joint  rulers  of  South  Wales  ; 
and  marching  confidently  to  find  them,  both  armies  met 
together  and  fought  at  a  place  called  Camdhwr;+  where 
after  a  severe  engagement  the  sons  of  Cadwgan  at  length 
obtained  a  complete  victory.  In  North  Wales,  at  the  same 
time,  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  having  established  his  possession 
of  the  Isle  of  Anglesey,  intended  to  proceed  farther  in  the 
main  land  of  Wales  ;  to  which  end,  having  transported  his 
forces  over  the  strait,  lie  encamped  in  the  neighbouring 
country  of  Carnarvonshire,  purposing  tq  reduce  North 
Wales  by  degrees.  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc  being  informed 
of  this  descent  of  Gruffydh's,  made  all  possible  speed  to 
prevent  his  farther  progress  ;  and  having  made  all  necessary 
preparations  that  the  shortness  of  the  opportunity  would  per- 
mit, he  drew  up  his  forces  to  Bron  yr  Erw,  §  where  he  gave 
Gruffydh  battle,  and  in  fine  forced  him  to  a  shameful  flight; 
so  that  he  was  glad  to  retire  back  safely  to  Anglesey.  || 
A.  D.  1074.  The  next  year  Rytherch  ap  Caradoc  Prince  of  South 
Wales  died,  being  murdered  through  the  unnatural  villainy 
of  his  cousin-german  Meyrchaon  ap  Rhys  ap  Rytherch ; 
after  whom  Rhys*ap  Owen  obtained  the  sole  government  of 
South  Wales  :  but  his  enjoyment  of  the  whole  of  that 
principality  was  not  very  lasting,  and  scarcely  at  all  void  of 
1075.  the  trouble  and  vexation  of  war.  For  shortly  after  the  death 
of  Caradoc,  the  sons  of  Cadwgan,  thinking  they  might  now 
easily  foil  and  vanquish  one,  seeing  they  had  some  time  ago 
victoriously  overcome  both  princes  together,  with  all  the 
forces  they  could  raise,  set  upon  Rhys  at  a  place  called 
Gwanyffyd,  who  not  being  able  to  combat  their  numbers, 
was  routed  and  forced  to  flee  ;  however  the  blow  was  not  so 
mortal  but  that  Rhys  gathered  together  new  levies,  by  the 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  112.— It  may  be  proper  here  to  remark,  that  though  the  lineal 
succession  was  frequently  interrupted,  yet  the  Welsh  always  paid  a  regard  to  the  same 
royal  blood,  except  in  the  instance  of  ^Edan  ap  Blegored. 

f  Of  the  Royal  House  of  South  Wales.  J  Camddwr,  in  Cardiganshire. 

§  Near  to  the  Castle  of  Harlech,  in  Merionydh.  ||  Welsh  Chron.  p.  11  §, 


help  of  which  he  was  emboldened  still  to  maintain  himself 
in  his  principality.*  Fortune,  however,  which  had  ad- 
vanced him  to  the  crown,  seemed  now  to  frown  at  and  cross 
all  his  endeavours  and  undertakings,  and  being  reduced  to 
a  very  weak  condition  in  the  last  battle,  he  was  attacked  by 
a  fresh  enemy  before  he  could  have  sufficient  time  to  recover 
and  recruit  himself.  For  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc,  Prince  of 
North  Wales,  perceiving  the  weakness  and  inability  of  Rhys 
to  make  opposition  against  any  foreign  enemy  that  invaded 
his  territories,  thought  it  now  very  feasible  to  obtain  the 
conquest  of  South  Wales,  and  then  to  annex  it  to  his  own 
principality  of  North  Wales  ;  and,  being  induced  by  these 
imaginations,  he  dispatched  his  army  to  South  Wales  to 
fight  with  Rhys,  who,  with  all  the  forces  he  could  possibly 
levy,  as  laying  his  whole  fortune  upon  the  event  of  this 
battle,  boldly  met  him  at  Pwlhgwttic,  where,  after  a  tedious 
fight  on  both  sides,  Rhys  having  lost  the  best  part  of  his 
army,  was  put  to  flight,  and  so  warmly  pursued,  that  after 
long  shifting  from  place  to  place,  himself  with  his  brother 
Howel  fell  at  length  into  the  hands  of  Caradoc  ap  Gruffydh, 
who  put  them  both  to  death,  in  revenge  of  the  base  murder 
of  Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  by  them  previously  committed.! 
The  principality  of  South  Wales  being  thus  vacant  by  the 
death  of  Rhys  ap  Owen ;  Rhys  son  to  Theodore  ap  Eirieon 
ap  Owen  ap  Howel  Dha4  as  lawful  heir  to  that  government, 
put  in  his  claim,  which  being  very  plain  and  evident,  so  pre- 
vailed with  the  people  of  that  country,  that  they  unanimously 
elected  him  for  their  prince,^  much  against  the  expectation 
of  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc,  Prince  of  North  Wales.  The 
next  year  St.  David's  suffered  greatly  by  strangers,  who 
landing  there  in  a  considerable  number,  spoiled  and  A. D.  1077. 
destroyed  the  whole  town,  shortly  after  which  barbarous 
action  Abraham,  bishop  of  that  see,  died ;  and  then  Sulien, 
who  the  year  before  had  relinquished  and  resigned  that 
bishoprick,  was  compelled  to  resume  it. 

The  government  of  all  Wales,  both  North  and  South,  had  1079. 
been  now  for  a  long  time  supplied  by  usurpers,  and  forcibly 
detained  from  the  right  and  legal   inheritors ;    but  Provi- 
dence would  not  suffer  injustice  to  reign  any  longer,  and 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  113.—  Vita  Griff.  Conani :  a  Manuscript  Life  of  that  Prince,  written 
in  the  Welsh  language,  as  is  supposed,  near  the  time  in  which  he  lived. 

f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  113. — Bleddyn— Strength  of  the  army. 

J  Ab  Cadel  ab  Rhodri  Mawr  ab  Mervyn  Vrych  ab  Gwriad  ab  Elidyr  ab  Sandde  ab 
Alser  ab  Tegid  ab  Gwyar  ab  Dwywg  ab  Llywarch  Hen  ab  Elidyr  Llydanwyn  ab 
Meirchion  Gul  ab  Grwst  Ledlwm  ab  Coneu  ab  Coel  Godebog.  Rhys  ab  Tcwdwr  was 
Jhe  founder  of  our  second  Royal  Tribe. 

§  Welsh  Chron.  p,  114. 


therefore  restored  the  rightful  heirs  to  the  principalities. 
Rhys  ap  Theodore  had  actual  possession  of  South  Wales,* 
and  there  wanted  no  more  at  this  time  but  to  bring  in 
Gruffydh  ap  Conan  to  the  principality  of  North  Wales  ; 
both  these  princes  being  indisputably  right  and  lawful  heirs 
to  their  respective  governments,  as  lineally  descended  from 
Roderic  the  Great,  who  was  legal  proprietor  of  all  Wales. 
Gruffydh  ap  Conan  had  already  reduced  the  isle  of 
Anglesey,  but  not  being  able  to  levy  a  sufficient  army  from 
thence  to  oppose  Trahaern,  he  invited  over  a  great  party  of 
Irish  and  Scots,  and  then  with  his  whole  army  joined  with 
Rhys  ap  Theodore,  Prince  of  South  Wales.  Trahaern  in 
like  manner  associating  to  himself  Caradoc  ap  Gruffydh  and 
Mailyr  the  son  of  Rywalhon  ap  Gwyn  his  cousins-german, 
the  greatest  and  most  powerful  men  then  in  Wales,  drew  up 
his  forces  together  with  resolution  to  fight  them.  Both 
armies  meeting  upon  the  mountains  of  Carno,f  which 
proved  the  more  fierce  and  bloody,  by  reason  that  both 
parties  resolutely  referred  their  whole  fortune  to  the  success 
of  their  arms,  and  life  would  prove  vain  if  the  day  was  lost. 
But  after  a  bloody  fight  on  both  sides,  the  victory  fell  at  last 
to  Gruffydh  and  Rhys,  Trahaern  with  his  cousins  being  all 
slain  in  the  field,:}:  after  whose  death  Gruffydh  took  posses- 
sion of  North  Wales  ;  and  so  the  rule  of  all  Wales,  after  a 
tedious  interval,  was  again  restored  to  the  right  line. 
About  the  same  time  Urgency  ap  Sitsylht,  a  person  of  noble 
quality  in  Wales,  was  treacherously  murdered  by  the  sons  of 
Rhys  Sais,  or  the  Englishman ;  by  which  name  the  Welsh 
were  accustomed  to  denominate  all  persons  who  either  had 
lived  any  considerable  time  in  England,  or  could  fluently 
and  handsomely  speak  the  English  tongue. 


*  According  to  Mr.  Vaughan,  of  Hengwrt,  the  immediate  territories  of  this  prince  were 
the  counties  of  Cardigan  and  Caermarthen ;  as  Pembroke,  Brecknock,  Gwent  or  Mon- 
mouthshire, and  Glewising  or  Herefordshire,  were  governed  by  their  several  reguli : 
though  there  is  no  doubt  but  all  these  acknowledged  the  sovereign  authority  of  South 
Wales.— British  Ant.  Revived,  pp.  7,  8.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  114. 

•f  In  South  Wales,  called  Mynydd  Cam,  on  account  of  a  large  Carnedd  upon  it, 
covering  the  remains  of  a  great  warrior,  who  had,  in  ancient  times,  been  slain  and  buried 

I  Vita  fil  Griff.  Conani.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  114. 



(jrRUFFYDH  ap  Conan  being  established  in  the  princi- 
pality of  North  Wales,  and  Rhys  ap  Theodore  in  that  of 
South  Wales ;   there  was  no  one  that  could  create  them 
any  molestation  or  disturbance  upon  the  account  of  their 
right,  which  was  unquestionably  just ;  so  that  they  quietly 
enjoyed  for  some  time  their  respective  dominions,  without 
apprehension  of  any  pretender  :  indeed,  it  had  seldom  been 
known  before,  but  that  one  of  the  princes  was  an  usurper ; 
and  particularly  in  North  Wales,  where,  from  the  time  of 
Edwal  Foel,  none  had  legally  ascended  to  the  crown,  ex- 
cepting Edwal  the  son  of  Meyric,  eldest  son  to  Edwal  Foel, 
in  whose  line  the  undoubted  title  of  North  Wales  lawfully 
descended:    and  the    right    line    being  now    restored  in 
Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  the  same  legally  continued  to  Lhewelyn 
ap  Gruffydh,  the  last  prince  of  the  British  blood.     During 
these  revolutions  in  Wales,   some  things  memorable  were 
transacted  in  England;  Malcolm  King  of  the   Scots  de- 
scending into  Northumberland,  ravaged  and  destroyed  the 
country  without  mercy,  carrying  away  a  great  number  of 
prisoners ;  after  which  the  Northumbrians  fell  upon  Walter 
Bishop  of  Durham,    whom   they  slew,    together  with  a 
hundred  men,  whilst  he  sate  keeping  his  court,  not  anti- 
cipating any  such  treacherous  villainy.     At  the  same  time 
Robert  Curthoys,  the  Bastard's  eldest  son,  being  for  some 
reason  disgusted  against  his  father,  and  instigated  by  the 
King  of   France,  entered  Normandy  with   an  army   and 
claimed  it  as  his  right,  which   King  William  being  ac- 
quainted with,  passed  over  to  Normandy,  and  meeting  with 
his  son  hand  to  hand  in  battle,  was  by  him  overthrown. 
Returning  from  Normandy  he  entered  with  a  great  army 
into  Wales,  and  marching  after  the  manner  of  a  pilgrimage 
as  far  as  St.  David's,  he  offered  and  paid  his  devotion  to  A.  D.  1079. 
that  saint,*  and  afterwards  received  homage  of  the  kings  and    13th  of 
princes  of  the  country.     About  the  same  time  the  tomb  of  William  the 
Walwey,  King  Arthur's  sister's  son,  a  most  valiant  person  Con<luerort 
in  his  time,  and  governor  of  that  country,  from  him  called 
Walwethey,  was  discovered  in  the  country  of  Rhos,  nigh 
the  sea-shore,   whose    skeleton  proved    monstrously  pro- 
digious, being  in  length  about  fourteen  feet. 

This  year  Madawc,  Cadwgan,  and  Riryd,  the  sons  of  ^  D.  i086. 
Plethyn  ap  Confyn  some  time  Prince  of  Wales,  raised  a 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  115. 


rebellion  against  Rhys  ap  Tewdwr,*  and  having  drawn 
together  a  great  number  of  licentious  and  discontented 
people,  thought  to  eject  him  out  of  the  principality  of  South 
Wales.  Rhys  had  not  power  and  forces  enough  to  oppose 
them,  while  the  rebel  army  increased  daily  by  the  addition 
of  the  discontented  multitude,  wlio  always  rejoice  at  any 
new  commotion  or  disturbance,  and  therefore  he  was  com- 
pelled to  retire  to  Ireland,  where  he  obtained  a  very  con- 
siderable party  of  Irish  and  Scots  upon  promise  of  a 
sufficient  reward  in  the  event  of  his  being  restored  to  his 
principality.  Having  by  this  measure  obtained  a  large 
increase  to  his  former  strength,  he  landed  in  South  Wales, 
the  news  of  whose  arrival  being  spread  abroad,  his  friends 
from  all  quarters  presently  assembled  about  him,  so  that  in 
a  short  time  his  army  became  numerous,  and  able  to  confront 
the  enemy.  The  rebels  were  aware  how  the  Prince's  forces 
daily  multiplied,  arid  therefore  to  prevent  any  farther  addi- 
tion, they  made  all  possible  haste  to  force  him  to  a  battle, 
which  in  a  short  time  after  happened  at  Lhech  y  Creu,f 
where  the  rebels  were  vanquished;  Madawc  and  Riryd 
being  slain,  and  Cadwgan  glad  to  save  his  life  by  flight. 
Rhys  having  won  so  signal  a  victory,  and  fearing  no  farther 
disturbance,  dismissed  the  Irish  and  Scots  with  great 
rewards,  who  honourably  returned  to  their  own  country. 
Within  a  while  after,  an  unaccountable  sacrilege  was  com- 
mitted at  St.  David's,  the  shrine  belonging  to  the  cathedral 
being  feloniously  conveyed  out  of  the  church,  all  the  plate 
and  other  utensils  were  stolen,  and  only  the  shrine  left  empty 
behind.  The  same  year  a  civil  war  £  broke  out  in  England, 
and  several  armies  in  several  parts  of  the  kingdom  were  up 
in  array  at  the  same  time,  and  amongst  the  rest  the  Welsh, 
who  entering  into  Gloucester  and  Worcester  shires,  burnt 
and  destroyed  all  before  them  to  the  gate  of  Worcester.  § 
The  king  having  drawn  his  army  together,  proceeded 
against  his  enemies  by  degrees,  and  falling  upon  their 
separate  parties,  without  any  great  difficulty  reduced  all  to 
A.  D.  1089.  obedience.  Within  two  years  after,  Archbishop  Sulien,  the 
most  pious  and  learned  person  in  Wales,  died,  in  the 
eightieth  year  of  his  age,  and  in  the  sixteenth  year  of 
his  bishoprick;  soon  after  whose  death  the  town  of  St. 
David's  suffered  a  more  apparent  calamity,  being  first 
plundered,  and  afterwards  burnt  by  a  company  of  pirates, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  117.  f  Lhechayd,  in  Radnorshire. 

J  Excited  by  the  Earls  of  Hereford  and  Shrewsbury. 

§  Called  by  the  Romans  Brangonia ;  by  the  Britons  Caer-Vrangon  ;  and  b*>  the  Saxons 
Worcester.— Humffrey  Lhuyd,  p.  26. — Annales  Waverlenses,  p.  136.— Simon  Dunelme, 
p.  214.— Matth.  Paris,  p.  12.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  118. 


who  much  infested  the  British   coasts.      About  the  same 
time  also  died  Cadifor  the  son  of  Calhoyn  Lord  of  Dyfed, 
whose    sons  Lhewelyn   and    Eineon  moved    Gruffydh   ap 
Meredith  to  take  up  arms  against  his  sovereign  Prince  Rhys 
ap  Tewdwr,  with  whom  they  joined  all  the  forces  they  could 
levy   among   their   tenants  and   dependants ;  then   passing 
with  their  army  to  Lhandydoch,*  boldly  challenged  Rhys 
to   fight;    who   thereupon   gave  them  battle,  and  after   a 
resolute  engagement  on  both  sides,  the  rebels  were  at  length 
worsted,   and  put  to  flight,  and  so  closely  pursued,   that 
Gruffydh  ap  Meredith  was  taken  prisoner,  and  executed  as 
a  traitor  :f  but  Eineon  made  his  escape,  and  not  venturing 
to  trust  himself  with  any  of  his  own  kindred,   he  fled  to 
lestyn  ap  Gwrgantf  Lord  of  Morgannwc,§  who  was  then 
in  actual  rebellion  against  Prince  Rhys ;  and  to  ingratiate 
himself  the  more  in  lestyn's  favour,  he  entered  into  condi- 
tions for  the  performance  of  certain  articles,  one  of  which 
more  especially  was,  that  he  should  receive  his  daughter  in 
matrimony ;    that  he  would  bring  over  to  his  aid  a  consider- 
able body  of  Normans,   with  whom  he  was  intimately  ac- 
quainted, as  having  served  a  long  time  in  England.     These 
articles  being  agreed  to  and  recorded,   Eineon  posted  to 
England,  and  in  a  little  time  brought  matters  so  about,  that 
he   prevailed    with  Robert  Fitzhamon    and    twelve  more 
knights  to  levy  a  strong  army  of  Normans,  and  to  come  to 
Wales  to  the  protection  and  aid  of  lestyn.     The  beginning  A.  D.  1090. 
of  the  following  year  they  landed  in  Glamorganshire,  and 
were  honourably  received  by  lestyn,  who,  joining  his  power 
to   theirs,    marched  to  Prince  Rhys's   dominions,  where, 
without  the  least  shew  of  mercy  to  his  own  countrymen,  he 
encouraged  the  Normans  by  his  own  example  to  spoil  and 
destroy  all  that  came  before  them.     Prince  Rhys  was  much 
grieved  to  find  his  country  so  unmercifully  harassed;  and 
though  at  this  time  very  old,  being  above  ninety-eight  years 
of  age,  he  would  not  refrain  from  meeting  his  enemies  ;  and 
having  with  all  possible  speed  raised  an  army,  he  met  with 
them  near  Brecknock,  where,  after  a  terrible  fight  and  a  1091. 
great  slaughter  on  both   sides,   he   was  unhappily  slain.  || 
With  him  fell  the  glory  and  grandeur  of  the  principality  of 
South  Wales;    for  it  was   afterwards   rent  in  pieces  and 


*  In  the  county  of  Pembroke.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  119. 

J  lestyn  ap  Gwrgant  wa's  the  founder  of  the  fourth  Royal  Tribe  of  Wales,  and  de- 
scended in  the  twenty-ninth  generation,  from  the  illustrious  Caractacus. — "  A  sorry  slip," 
says  Mr.  Yorke,  "  from  such  a  stock."— The  Silurian  prince  had  defended  his  country  from 
foreign  enemies :  his  descendant  introduced  them  to  enslave  it.— Royal  Tribes,  p.  129. 

§  The  territory  of  Morgannwg  or  Morgan. 

||  Upon  the  Black  Mountain  near  Brecknock.— Humffrey  Lhuyd,  p.  80.— Polydore 
Vergil,  lib.  x.  p.  171. 


divided  into  several  parts  by  piecemeal  among  the  Norman 
captains,  as  is  hereafter  more  particularly  related.  Prince 
Rhys  left  issue  by  the  daughter  of  Rywalhon  ap  Confyn, 
two  sons,  Gruflfydh  and  Grono,  the  latter  of  whom  was 
detained  prisoner  by  the  King  of  England ;  *  though  the 
author  of  the  winning  of  the  lordship  of  Glamorgan  affirms 
that  he  was  slain  together  with  his  father  in  this  battle 
against  the  Normans. 

The  Normans  having  received  a  sufficient  reward  from 
lestyn,  on  account  of  their  service  against  Prince  Rhys, 
returned  to  their  ships,  in  order  to  their  voyage  homeward ; 
but  before  they  could  loose  anchor  to  sail  off,  Eineon  re- 
called them,  being  ungratefully  affronted  by  lestyn,  who 
absolutely  refused  to  make  good  to  him  the  conditions  which 
they  had  agreed  upon  before  the  Normans  were  invited  to 
Wales.     On   this  account,  Eineon  was  so  irreconcileably 
incensed  against  lestyn,  that,  to  be  revenged  upon  him,  he 
was  willing  to  sacrifice  his  native  country  into  the  hands  of 
strangers ;  and  therefore  persuaded  the  Normans  as  to  the 
fertility  of  the  country,  and  how  easily  they  might  conquer 
and  make  themselves  masters  of  it.     But  it  needed  not  many 
arguments  to  persuade  a  people  that  were  willing  of  them- 
selves, and  more  especially  when  encouraged  thereto  by  a 
person  of  some  esteem  in  the  country  ;    wherefore,  without 
any  more  questions,  they  presently  fell  to  their  business ; 
and  from  friends  became  unexpectedly  foes.     lestyn  was 
much  surprised  to  find  the  Nonnans,  whom  he  had  but 
lately  honourably  dismissed  from  his  service,   and,  as  he 
thought  with  satisfaction,  so  soon  become  his  enemies ;  but 
perceiving  a  serpent  in  the  hedge,  by  Eineon  being  upon 
such  friendly  terms  among  them,  he  quickly  guessed  at  the 
reason,  of  which  there  was  no  remedy  left,  and  for  which  he 
had  to  bewail  the  needless  folly  of  his  own  knavery.     The 
Normans  easily  dispossessed  lestyn  of  the  whole  lordship  of 
Glamorgan ;  f  the  most  pleasant  and  fertile  part  of  which 
they  divided  among  themselves ;   leaving  the  more  moun- 
tainous and  craggy  ground  to  the  share  of  Eineon ;  J   but  as 
Sir  Edward  Stradling,  a  descendant  from  one  of  Eineon's 
Norman  associates,  hath  left  a  particular  and  interesting 
account  of  this  expedition,   and  of  the  principal  persons 
engaged  in  it,  I  shall  here  insert  his  statement. 


*  Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Brev.  p.  81.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  120. 

f  Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Brev.  p.  80.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  120.— From  Ran.  Cest.  lib.  vii.  cap. 
7. — Marianus  Scotus. 

J  Camden's  Britannia,  p.  602  j  Gibson's  Edit.— Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Breviary,  p,  80.— 
Welsh  Chron.  p.  120. 


The  winning  of  the  Lordship  of  Glamorgan  or  Mor- 
gannwc  out  of  the  Welshmen's  Hands,  and  first  of  the 
description  of  the  same  Lordship. 

[Reprinted  from  the  Edition  of  1584.] 

J.  N  primis,  the  said  lordship  in  length  from  Rymny  bridge 
on  the  east  side,  to  Pwlh  Conan  on  the  west  side,  is  27 
miles.  The  breadth  thereof  from  the  haven  of  Aburthaw 
alias  Aberdaon,  on  the  south  side,  to  the  confines  of 
Bredinockshire,  above  Morleys  castle,  is  22  miles. 

Item  the  same  lordship,  being  a  lordship  marcher,  or  a 
lordship  royal,  and  holden  of  no  other  lordship,  the  lords 
ever  since  the  winning  of  the  same,  owing  their  obedience 
only  to  the  crown,  have  used  therein  jura  regalia :  that  is, 
the  trial  of  all  actions,  as  well  real  as  personal,  with  pleas  of 
the  crown,  and  authority  to  pardon  all  offences,  treason  only 

Item  there  were  11  lordships,  to  wit,  Senghennyth, 
Myskyn,  Ruthin,  Lhanblethian,  Tir  larlh,  Glyn  Rothney, 
Auan,  Neth,  Coyty,  Talauan  and  Lhantuit  alias  Bouiarton, 
that  were  members  of  the  said  lordship  of  Glamorgan.  In 
every  of  the  members  were  the  like  jura  regalia  used  in  all 
things,  saving  that  if  any  wrong  judgement  were  given  in 
any  of  the  courts  of  the  said  members,  it  should  be  reversed 
by  a  writ  of  false  judgement  in  the  county  court  of  Glamor- 
gan, as  superior  court  to  the  said  members.  Also  all 
matters  of  conscience  happening  in  debate  in  any  of  the  said 
members,  should  be  heard  and  determined  in  the  chancery 
of  Glamorgan,  before  the  chancellor  thereof. 

Item,  the  body  of  the  said  lordship  of  Glamorgan  was 
(before  the  alteration  of  the  laws  in  Wales)  a  county  of  itself, 
wherein  the  lord  had  two  castles  and  three  market  towns, 
to  wit,  the  castle  and  town  of  Kynfigs,  alias  Kefnffigen,  in 
the  west  part  thereof,  and  Cowbridge  town,  alias  Pont  vaen, 
in  the  middest.  And  the  town  and  castle  of  Cardyff,  or 
Caer-Dhydh,  in  the  east  part,  in  which  castle  of  Cardyff 
the  lord  did  most  inhabit ;  and  therein  he  had  his  Chancery 
and  Exchequer,  and  a  fair  court  house,  wherein  the  county 
court  was  monthly  kept  on  the  Monday  for  all  the  suiters  of 
the  shrievalty,  that  is,  of  the  body  of  the  said  lordship  itself, 
without  the  said  members. 

Item,  within  the  said  shrievalty,  or  body  of  the  said  lord- 
ship, were  18  castles,  and  36  knight's  fees  and  an  half,  that 



held  of  the  said  lordship  of  Glamorgan  by  knights  service, 
besides  a  great  number  of  freeholders. 

6  Item,  in  eight  of  the  said  members  were  ten  castles  and 
four  borough  towns. 

7  Item,  the  annual  revenues  of  the  said  lordship  with  the 
The  value  members,  was  1000  marks,  whereof  was  allowed  in  fees  400 

of.       marks;    of  the  which   members  aforesaid,   John  Gamage, 
beVore'the'  ^sq.  occupieth  one  at  this  day,  descended  unto  him  from 
purchase   the  Turberuiles,  his  ancestors,  that  is  to  wit,  the  lordship  of 
thereof.    Coytie ;   and  the  heir  of  John  Bassett  enjoyeth  another,  to 
wit,  the  lordship  of  Talauan,  by  purchase  from  King  Ed- 
ward the  sixth.     The  other  nine  members,  with  four  of  the 
aforesaid  knights  fees,  and  all  the  castles,  market  towns,  and 
borough  towns,  with  the  demesnes  of  the  same ;  and  all  the 
lands  that  were  in  the  lords  hands,  parcel  of  the  said  lord- 
ship and  members,  the  earl  of  Pembroke  hath  purchased. 
The  value  So  that  there  remaineth  now  to  the  senior  of  the  said  lord- 
of  the     gj^p  Q£  Glamorgan  (being  in  the  Queen's  Majesty's  hands) 
but  the  moity  only  of  the  manor  of  Dynaspowys,  of  the  value 
of  26  pounds  by  the  year. 

The  Manner  of  the  winning  of  the  said  Lordship. 

A.D.  1091.  N  the  year  of  our  Lord  1091,  and  in  the  fourth  year  of  the 
reign  of  King  William  Rufus,  one  lestyn,  the  son  of 
Gurgant,  being  lord  of  the  said  lordship  of  Glamorgan, 
Rees  ap  Tewdwr,  prince  of  South  Wales,  that  is,  of  Caer- 
marthyneshire  and  Cardiganshire,  made  war  upon  him. 
Whereupon  the  said  lestyn,  understanding  himself  unable  to 
withstand  the  said  Rees  without  some  aid  otherwise,  sent 
one  Eneon,  a  gentleman  of  his,  to  England,  to  one  Robertus 
Fitzhamon,  a  worthy  man,  and  knight  of  the  privy  chamber 
with  the  said  king,  to  retain  him  for  his  succour.  The 
which  Robert,  being  desirous  to  exercise  himself  in  the 
feats  of  war,  agreed  soon  with  him  thereto  for  a  salary  to 
him  granted  for  the  same.  Whereupon  the  said  Robert 
Fitzhamon  retained  to  his  service  for  the  said  journey, 
twelve  knights,  and  a  competent  number  of  soldiers,  and 
went  into  Wales,  and  joining  there  with  the  power  of  the 
said  lestyn,  fought  with  the  said  Rees  ap  Tewdwr  and 
killed  him,  and  one  Conan  his  son.  After  which  victory, 
the  said  Robert  Fitzhamon,  minding  to  return  home  again 
with  his  company,  demanded  his  salary  to  him  due  of  the 
said  lestyn,  according  to  the  covenants  and  promises  agreed 



upon  between  him  and  the  aforesaid  Eneon,  on  the  behalf 
of  the  said  lestyn,  his  master.  The  which  to  perform  in  all 
points  the  said  lestyn  denied ;  and  thereupon  they  fell  out, 
so  that  it  came  to  be  tried  by  battle.  And,  for  so  much 
as  the  said  Eneon  saw  his  master  go  from  divers  articles  and 
promises  that  he  had  willed  him  to  conclude  with  the  said 
Robert  Fitzhamon,  on  his  behalf,  he  forsook  his  master, 
and  took  part,  he  and  his  friends,  with  the  said  Robert 
Fitzhamon.  In  the  which  conflict,  the  said  lestyn  with 
a  great  number  of  his  men  were  slain,  whereby  the  said 
Robert  Fitzhamon  won  the  peaceable  possession  of  the 
whole  lordship  of  Glamorgan,  with  the  members,  of  the 
which  he  gave  certain  castles  and  manors,  in  reward  of  ser- 
vice, to  the  said  twelve  knights,  and  to  other  his  gentlemen. 

The  Names  and  Sirnames  of  the  said  Twelve  Knights 
were  tJiese. 

1  Y  ?  ILLIAM  de  Londres  alias  London. 

2  Richardus  de  Grana  villa  alias  Greenfeeld. 

3  Paganus  de  Turberuile. 

4  Robertus  de  S.  Quintino  alias  S.  Quintine. 

5  Richardus  de  Syward. 

6  Gilbertus  de  Humfrevile. 

7  Rogerus  de  Berkrolles. 

8  Reginaldus  de  Sully. 

9  Peter  le  Soore. 

10  Johannes  le  Fleming. 

1 1  Oliverus  de  S.  John,  a  younger  brother  of  the  Lord  S. 

John,  of  Basing. 

12  William  le  Esterling,    whose  ancestors   came  out    of 

Danske  to  England  with  the  Danes,  and  is  now  by 
shortness  of  speech  called  Stradling. 

The  Parcels  given  by  the  said  Robert  Fitzhamon  to  the 
said  Twelve  Knights  and  other  sf  in  Reward  of  Service. 

J.N  primis,  to  the  said  William  de  Londres,  the   said        i 
Robert  Fitzhamon  gave  the  castle  and  manor  of  Ogmor,    Ogmor. 
being  four  knights'  fees ;  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of 
the  duchy  of  Lancaster. 

Item,  to  the  forenamed  Sir  Richard  Greenfeeld,  he  gave        2 
the  castle  and  lordship  of  Neth,  being  one  of  the  members      NeUl- 
aforesaid ;  and  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  the  Right 
Hon.  the  Earl  of  Penbroke. 



3  Item,  to  Sir  Paine  Turberuile,  he  gave  the  castle  and 
oy  y'     lordship  of  Coyty,  being  another  of  the  said  members ;  and 

now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  John  Gamage,  Esq. 

4  Item,  to  Sir  Robert  S.  Quintine  he  gave  the  castle  and 
ih  an  BIC  lordship  °f  khan  Blethan,  being  another  of  the  said  mem- 
bers;  and  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  S.  William 
Herbert,  of  Swansey,  Knt. 

5  Item,  to  Sir  Richard  Syward,  he  gave  the  castle  and 
Talauan.    lordship  of  Talauan,  being  another  of  the  said  members ; 

and  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  Anthony  Maunsell, 

6  Item,  to  Sir  Gilbert  Humfrevile,  he  gave  the  castle  and 
Penmarke.  manor  of  Penmarke,  being  three  knights'  fees ;  now  parcel 

of  the  possessions  of  the  Right  Hon.  Lord  St.  John,  of 

7  Item,  to  Sir  Reginald  de  Sully,  he  gave  the  castle  and 
Sul|y-     manor  of  Sully,  so  since  called  after  his  name,  being  two 

knights'  fees ;  now  divided  betwixt  the  Earl  of  Pembroke, 
and  the  Lord  St.  John,  of  Bledso. 

8  Item,  to  Sir  Roger  Berkrolles,  he  gave  the  manor  of  East 
Orchard     Orcnard,  being  one  knight's  fee ;  now  parcel  of  the  pos- 
sessions of  S.  William  Herbert,  of  Swansey. 

9  Item,  to  Sir  Peter  le  Soore,  he  gave  the  castle  and  manor 
Peterton.   of  peterton,  so  now  called  after  his  name,  being  one  knight's 

fee ;  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  the  Earl  of  Penbroke. 

10  Item,  to  Sir  John  Fleming,  he  gave  the  castle  and  manor 
?orge'  of  St.  George,  being  one  knight's  fee;  and  holden  of  his 

posterity  the  Flemings  to  this  day. 

n  Item,  to  Sir  John  St.  John,  he  gave  the  castle  and  manor 

Fonmon.    of  FOnmon  or  Fenuon,  being  one  knight's  fee;   and  now 

parcel  of  the  possessions  of  the  Lord  St.  John,  of  Bledso. 
12  Item,  to  Sir  William  le  Esterling  alias  Stradling,  he  gave 

s.  Donates,  the  castle  and  manor  of  St.  Donats  or  St.  Denwit,  being  one 
knight's  fee ;  now  parcel  of  the  possessions  of  Sir  Edward 
Stradling,  Knt.  that  now  is. 

Sum.      Four  Lordships  Members,  and  Thirteen  Knights 


13  ITEM,  he  gave  to  the  aforesaid  Eneon,  that  took  his  part, 
the  lordship  of  Senghennyth,  being  another  of  the  said 

14  Item,  he  gave  the  castle  and  lordship  of  Auan,  another  of 
the  said  members,  to  Caradoc  Fitz  lestyn,  the  eldest  son  of 
the  said  lestyn. 



Item,  be  gave  the  lordship  of  Ruthyn,  another  of  the  said        15 
members,  to  another  son  of  the  said  lestyn. 

Item,  the  rest  of  the  foresaid  knights'  fees,  being  twenty-        ie 
two  and  an  half,  he  distributed  part  to  gentlemen  that  served 
him,  and  part  to  the  Welshmen,  right  owners  of  the  same. 

The  Portion  that  the  Lord  kept  for  himself  and  his 


Jl  HE  castle  of  Cardyff  and  Kenfigg,  with  the  foresaid 
three  market  towns  of  Cardyff,  Kenfigg,  and  Cowbrige,  and 
the  shrievalty,  being  a  body  of  the  said  lordship  of  Gla- 
morgan, and  all  the  demesnes  of  the  same,  with  the  rest  of 
the  said  members ;  to  wit,  Miskyn,  Glynrothney,  Tyr  larl, 
and  Boviarton  alias  Lentwit:  and  the  chief  seniory  of  the 
whole  the  said  Robert  Fitzhamon  kept  to  himself.  And  in 
the  said  lordship  of  Boviarton  he  had  a  large  grange  or 
house  of  husbandry,  with  the  lands  to  the  same  belonging, 
that  served  him  for  the  provision  of  corn  to  his  house.  He 
dwelt  himself  most  in  the  said  castle  or  town  of  Cardyff, 
being  a  fair  haven  town.  And  because  he  would  have  the 
aforesaid  twelve  knights  and  their  heirs  give  attendance 
upon  him  every  county  day  (which  was  always  kept  by  the 
sheriff  in  the  utter  ward  of  the  said  castle,  on  the  Monday 
monthly  as  is  before  said)  he  gave  every  one  of  them  a 
.lodging  within  the  said  utter  ward,  the  which  their  heirs, 
or  those  that  purchased  the  same  of  their  heirs,  do  enjoy  at 
this  day. 

Also  the1  morrow  after  the  county  day,  being  the  Tuesday, 
the  lord's  chancellor  sat  always  in  the  chancery  there,  for 
the  determining  of  matters  of  conscience  in  strife,  happening 
as  well  in  the  said  shrievalty  as  in  the  members ;  the  which 
day  also,  the  said  knights  used  to  give  attendance  upon  the 
lord ;  and  the  Wednesday  every  man  drew  homeward,  and 
then  began  the  courts  of  the  members  to  be  kept  in  order, 
one  after  another. 

The  Pedigree  of  Robert  Fitzhamon,  and  of  his  Heirs, 
Lords  of  Glamorgan. 

fWl  Some  do  af- 

1     JL  HE  said  Robert  Fitzhamon,  was  son  to  Hamon,  firm  that  he 
a  great  lord,  and  kinsman  of  William  the  Conqueror,  AstreTiie  in 

who  Normandy. 
H  2 



Matt.  West, 
lib.  2,  p.  21. 
I.  Castor. 
Matt.  Paris, 
page  22. 

who  came  into  the  realm  with  him.  This  Robert  (as  is 
before  said)  was  knight  of  the  privy  chamber  with  King 
William  Rufus ;  who  (as  it  appeareth  in  the  Chronicles) 
dreamed  the  night  before  the  king  was  killed,  that  he 
saw  the  king  torn  in  pieces  by  wolves ;  and  therefore,  by 
his  persuasion,  he  walled  the  king  to  forbear  to  go 
abroad  that  forenoon.  But  the  king,  when  he  had 
dined,  there  was  no  man  able  to  stay  him,  but  that  he 
would  ride  forth  a  hunting  into  the  new  forest,  where 
he  was  slain  by  Walter  Tyrrel,  by  the  glancing  of  his 
arrow  shooting  at  a  red  deer. 

2  Mawd,  the  only  daughter  and  heiress  of  the  said 
Robert,  was  married  to  Robert,  Earl    of    Glocester, 
base  son  to  King  Henry  the  First. 

3  William,  Earl  of  Glocester,  son  to  the  said  Robert 
and  Mawd,  died  without  issue  male,  leaving  behind  him 
three  daughters,  of  the  which,  Isabel,  the  eldest,  was 
married  to  King  John,   then   Earl  of  Oxenford  and 
Lancaster,  (as  some  chronicles  do  declare,)  who,  so  soon 
as  he  was  made  king  was  divorced  from  her,  and  then 
she  was  married  to  Geffrey  Mandevile,  Earl  of  Essex, 
and  died  without  issue,  as  far  as  I  can  find. 

4  The  second  daughter  named  Amicia,  was  married  to 
Sir  Gilbart  de  Clare,  then  Earl  of  Clare,  by  whom  he 
had  the  earldom  of  Glocester :    and  Mabile,  the  third 
daughter,  was  married  to  the  Earl  of  Eureux. 

5  Sir  Gilbart  de  Clare,  son  to  the  said  Gilbart,  was  the 
fourth  Earl  of  Glocester. 

6  Sir  Richard  de  Clare's  son  was  the  fifth  Earl. 

7  Sir  Gilbart's  son  was  the  sixth  Earl. 

8  Sir   Gilbart's  son,    who  married    Jane    de    Acres, 
daughter  to  King  Edward  I.  was  the  seventh  Earl. 

9  Sir  Gilbart  de  Clare  their  son  was  the  eighth  Earl, 
and  he  was  slain  by  the  Scots   in  King  Edward  the 
Second's  time ;  and  then  the  earldom  fell  between  his 
three  sisters.     Of  the  which,  Elianor,  the  eldest,  was 
married  to  Hugh  Spencer,  the  son,  in  her  right  Earl  of 
Glocester.    Margaret,  the  second,  was  married  to  Peires 
Gaueston,  and  after  to  the  Lord  Awdeley.     Elizabeth, 
the  third,  was  married  first  to  William,  Lord  Burgh, 
Earl  of  Ulster,  and  after  to   Ralph  Roch,  Baron  of 
Armoy,  in  Ireland ;  she  was  married  the  third  time  to 
Theobald  L.  Verdoun,  and  lastly  to  Sir  Roger  Damory, 
and  had  issue  by  every  one  of  them. 

Sir  Hugh  Spencer  had  to  his  wives  purpartee  the  said 


lordship  of  Glamorgan. 




1 1  Sir  Hugh,  Lord  Spencer,  their  son,  enjoyed  the  same, 
and  died  without  issue. 

12  Edward,  Lord  Spencer,  son  to  Edward,  brother  to 
the  said  Hugh,  succeeded  the  said  Hugh  therein. 

13  Thomas,  Lord  Spencer,  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

14  Richard,  Lord  Spencer,  his  son,  succeeded  him,  and 
died  in  ward. 

15  Isabell,  sister  to  Richard,  succeeded  him,  and  married 
with  Richard  Beauchamp,  Earl  of  Worcester,  and  Lord 
Burgavenny,  who  had  issue  by  her  a  daughter  only,  and 
died.     The  which  daughter  was  married  to  Edward,  the 
son  of  Dawraby,  Ralph  Neuel,  Earl  of  Westmoreland. 
And  after  the  death  of  the  said  Earl  of  Worcester,  the 
said  Isabell  married  with  Richard  Beauchamp,  Earl  of 

16  Henry  Beauchamp,  Earl  of  Warwick,  and  after  Duke 
of  Warwick,  their  son,  died  without  issue. 

17  Anne,  his  sister  of  whole  blood  succeeded  him,  and 
married  with  Richard  Neuel,  after  Earl  of  Salisburie, 
and  in  her  right  Earl  of  Warwick,  and  had  issue  two 
daughters,  Mary,  married  to  the  Duke  of  Clarence,  and 
Anne,  married  first  to  Prince  Edward,  slain  at  Teux- 
burie,   and  after    his    death   with  Richard,   Duke  of 
Glocester,  who  was  afterwards  King  of  England. 

18  The  said  Anne  and  King  Richard  (being  then  Duke 
of  Glocester)   had  the  said  lordship  given  unto  them 
by  the  said  Anne,  Countess  of  Warwick,  her  mother. 

19  King  Henry  the  Seventh  enjoyed  the  same  after  the 
death  of  King  Richard. 

20  lasper,  Duke  of  Bedford,  enjoyed  the  same  by  the 
gift  of  King  Henry  the   Seventh,   and  died  without 
issue ;  and  by  reason  thereof  it  remained  to  the  king 

21  King  Henry  the  Eighth  enjoyed  the  same  after  his 

22  King  Edward  the  Sixth  succeeded  him  therein,  and 
sold  almost  all  the  lands  thereof. 

23  Queen  Mary  succeeded  him  in  the  seniory. 

24  Queen  Elizabeth  our  most  dread  sovereign  that  now 
is,  doth  succeed  her  in  the  same  seniory,  and  hath  sold 
the  lordship  of  Neth  from  it ;   so  that  now  there  remain 
no  more  lands  appertaining  to  the  seniory,    but  the 
moity  of  the  manor  of  Deinaspowys  only. 



The  Pedigree  of  Londres,  Lord  of  Ogmore,  one  of  the 
said  Twelve. 

1  WlLLIAM    LONDRES,  lord  of  the  castle   and 
manor  of  Ogmore,  (as  is  before  said,)  won  afterwards 
the  lordships  of  Kydwelhey  and  Carnewilhion,  in  Car- 
marthenshire, from  the  Welshmen  ;   and   gave  to  Sir 
Arnold  Butler  his  servant,  the  castle  and  manor  of  Dun- 
reeven,   in  the  lordship   of   Ogmore  aforesaid.      The 
which  ever  since  hath  continued  in  the  heirs  male  of 
the  said  Arnold  Butler,  until  within  these  few  years  that 
it  fell  to  Walter  Vaghan,  sister's  son  to  Arnold  Butler, 
the  last  of  the  Butlers  that  was  owner  thereof. 

2  Simon  de  Londres,  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

3  William  de  Londres  succeeded  his  father  Simon,  and 
had  issue  one  son. 

4  Moris  de  Londres,  his  son,  succeeded  him,  and  had 
issue  one  only  daughter, 

5  The  said  daughter  married  with  one  Seward,  a  man 
of  great  possessions. 

6  They  had  issue  a  daughter  only,  married  to  Henrie, 
Earl  of  Lancaster,  brother  to  Thomas,   Earl   of  Lan- 

7  Henrie  their  son,  made  afterwards  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
did  succeed  them;    and  so  the  said  three  lordships, 
Ogmore,  Kydwelhey,  and  Carnewilhion,  became  parcels 
of  the  Duchy  of  Lancaster  ever  after. 

The  Pedigree  of  Greenefeeld. 

Richard  Greenefeeld  before  said,  (to  whom  the 
lordship  of  Neth  was  given  in  reward,)  was  lord  of  the 
castle  and  manor  of  Bydyford,  in  Devonshire,  at  the  time  he 
came  into  Wales  with  the  said  Robert  Fitzhamon,  and 
founded  an  abby  of  white  monks  in  Neth,  and  gave  the 
whole  lordship  to  the  maintenance  of  the  same,  and  then 
returned  back  again  to  Bydyford,  whereat  the  issue  male  of 
his  body  doth  yet  remain,  and  enjoy eth  the  same. 

The  Pedigree  of  Turberuile,  Lord  of  Goyty, 

I  ^IR  Paine  Turberuile,  Lord  of  Coyty,  as  is  before 



2  Sir  Simon  Turberuile  succeeded  him,  and  died  with- 
out issue. 

3  Sir  Gilbart  Turberuile  succeeded  his  brother. 

4  Sir  Paine  Turberuile,  his  son,  succeeded  him,   and 
married  Mawd,  daughter  and  sole  heir  to  Morgan  Gam, 
one  of  the  nephews  of  the  aforesaid  lestyn. 

5  Sir  Gilbart,  their  son,  quartered  lestyn's  arms  with 

6  Sir  Gilbart,  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

7  Sir  Richard,  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

8  Sir  Paine,  his  son,  succeeded  him,  who  merried  with 
Wenlhian,    daughter    to    Sir    Richard    Talbot,    Knt. 
and  had  issue  by  her  two  sons,  that  is  to  wit,  Gilbart 
and  Richard;  and  four  daughters,  namely,  Catharine, 
Margaret,  Agnes,  and  Sara. 

9  Sir  Gilbart  succeeded  Sir  Paine  his  father. 

10       Sir  Gilbart,  his  son,  succeeded  him,  and  died  without 

J.1       Sir  Richard,  his  father's  brother,  succeeded  him,  and 

having  no  issue,  entailed  the  lordship  of  Coyty  to  the 

heirs  male  of  Sir  Roger  Berkerolles,  Knt. 

1  Sir  Roger  Berkerolles,   Knt.    son    to    Sir  William 
Berkerolles,   Knt.    and  Phelice  his  wife,   one    of  the 
daughters  of  Veere,  Earl  of  Oxenfbrd,  which  said  Sir 
Roger  had  married  Catharine,  the  eldest  sister  of  the 
said  Sir  Richard.     And  for  default  of  such  issue,  the 
remainder  to  the  heirs  male  of  Sir  Richard  Stakepoole, 

2  Knt.  who  married  with  Margaret,  second  sister  of  the 
said  Richard.      And  for  default  of   such  issue,    the 
remainder  to  the  heirs  of  Sir  John  de  la  Beare,  Knt. 

,3  and  Agnes  his  wife,  the  third  sister  to  the  said  Richard. 
And  for  lack  of  such  issue  male,  the  remainder  to  the 
4  heirs  male  of  William  Gamage,  and  of  Sara  his  wife, 
the  fourth  sister  to  the  said  Sir  Richard  Turberuile. 

The  said  Berkrolles,  Stakepoolle,  and  De  la  Beare, 
died  without  issue  male,*  by  reason  whereof,  after  the 


*  Robert,  the  only  brother  of  the  said  Sir  Richard  Stacpoole,  married  a  daughter  of 
Sir  John  Sitsylt  or  Cecil!. 

T  Sir  William  Stacpoole,  his  eldest  son,  married  a  daughter  of  Howel  ap  Ithel,  Lord  of 
Roos  and  Ryuonioc,  now  Denbighland.  The  said  Sir  William  Stacpoole  had  a  command 
in  an  army,  raised  in  the  reign  of  King  Stephen,  against  David,  King  of  Scots,  but  died 
young,  leaving  three  sons  and  one  daughter. 

Sir  Richard  Stacpoole,  his  eldest  son,  of  Stacpoole,  in  the  county  of  Pembrooke,  married 
a  daughter  of  Sir  Henry  Vernon,  of  Haddon,  in  the  Peke. 

No  mention  is  made  of  the  second  son  ;  but  Robert,  the  youngest  son,  epcouraged  by 
his  cousin  Robert  Fitzstephen,  went  over  to  Ireland  with  Richard,  Earl  of  Strigule,  known 
by  the  name  of  Strongbow,  and  was  a  captain  of  archers  in  that  division  of  the  army  that 



death  of  Sir  Laurence  Berkerolles,  Knt.  son  to  the  said 
Sir  Roger,  and  Catharine  his  wife;  the  said  lordship 
fell  to  Sir  William  Gamage,  son  to  Gilbert,  son  to  the 
foresaid  William  Gamage,  and  Sara.  The  said  William 
was  son  to  Sir  Robert  Gamage,  Knt.  son  to  Paine 
Gamage,  lord  of  the  manor  of  Rogiade,  in  the  county  of 
Monmowth.  The  foresaid  Sir  William  had  issue 
Thomas,  Thomas  had  issue  John,  John  had  issue 
Morgan,  Morgan  had  issue  Sir  Thomas  Gamage,  Knt. 
and  Margaret,  wife  to  lenkin  Thomas,  and  Anne,  wife 
to  Robert  Raglan,  and  Catharine,  wife  to  Reginald  ap 
Howel,  and  Wenlhian,  wife  to  Thomas  ap  Meyric. 

The  said  Sir  Thomas  Gamage  had  issue  Robert 
Gamage,  that  late  was ;  Catharine  his  eldest  daughter, 
wife  to  Sir  Thomas  Stradling,  Knt.  Marie  the  second 
daughter,  wife  to  Matthew  Herebert ;  Margaret  the  third 
daughter,  wife  to  the  Lord  William  Howard;  and 
Elizabeth  the  fourth  daughter,  wife  to  Richard  Hogan, 
of  Penbrookeshire,  Esq.  The  said  Robert  Gamage  had 
issue  John  Gamage,  that  now  is. 

1  Sole  heir  general  to  the  said  Sir  Roger  Berkrolles, 
Knt.  and  Catharine,  one  of  the  four  sisters,  and  heirs 
general  to  the  aforesaid  Sir  Richard  Turberuile,  Knt. 
is  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.  that  now  is. 

2  Sole  heir  general  to  the  said  Sir  Richard  Stakepoole, 
of  Penbrookeshire,  and  Margaret  his  wife,  another  of 
the  four  sisters,  and  heirs  general  to  the  said  Sir  Richard 
Turberuille,  Knt.  is  Sir  George  Vernon,  Knt. 

3  Heirs  general  to  the  said  Sir  John  de  la  Beare,  Knt. 
and  Agnes  his  wife,  another  of  the  four  sisters,  and  heirs 
general  of  the  said  Sir  Richard  Turberuille,  Knt.   are 
Oliuer  S.  John,  Lord  S.  John,  of  Bledso,  and  William 
Basset,  of  Glamorgan,  Esq.  that  now  is. 

4  John  Gamage,  Esq.   that  now  is,   is    as  well  heir 
general  lineally  descended  from  Sara  the  fourth  sister, 
and  heir  to  the  said  Sir  Richard  Turberuile,  Knt.  as 
also  heir  by  the  entail  aforesaid,  to  the  whole  lordship 
of  Coyty. 


Fitzstephen  commanded  under  Strongbow,  in  the  year  1168,  the  fourteenth  year  of  King 
Henry  the  Second. 

The  said  Robert  Stacpoole  after  settled  in  Ireland,  and  his  lineal  descendant  has  a  large 
property  in  the  county  of  Clare,  in  that  kingdom. 

The  old  mansion  of  Stacpoole  Court,  and  a  large  estate  in  Pembrokeshire,  descended 
to  a  grand-daughter  of  the  second  Sir  Richard  Stacpoole,  and  became  the  property  of  the 
son  of  the  late  Pryse  Campbell,  Esq.  who  was  member  for  that  county,  and  died  in  1769 


Robert  de  S.  Quintine,  his  Pedigree. 

Robert  de  S.  Quintine,  to  whom  the  lordship  of 
Lhanblethian  was  given,  and  his  issue  male  enjoyed  the 
same  until  King  Henry  the  Third's  time.  And  then,  or  in 
a  short  time  after,  his  issue  male  failed,  of  whom  is  de- 
scended Sir  William  Parr,  late  Marquis  of  Northampton. 

Richard  de  Syward,  his  Pedigree. 

Richard  Syward,  to  whom  the  lordship  of  Talauan 
wras  given,  and  his  issue  male,  enjoyed  the  same  until  King 
Edward  the  Third's  time ;  at  which  time  the  heirs  thereof 
having  other  lands  in  Somersetshire,  sold  the  said  lordship 
to  the  Lord  Spencer,  then  Lord  of  Glamorgan,  and  went 
into  Somersetshire  to  dwell  there,  where  his  issue  male 
continueth  yet. 

Gilbert  de  Humfreuile,  his  Pedigre. 

IR  Gilbert  Humfreuile  aforesaid,  to  whom  the  castle 
and  manor  of  Penmarke  was  given,  and  his  issue  male, 
enjoyed  the  same  till  the  said  King  Edward  the  Third's 
time;  and  then  the  inheritance  of  the  said  castle  and  manor 
descended  to  Sir  John  S.  John,  of  Fonmon,  Knt.  to  whom 
the  forenamed  Lord  S.  John,  of  Bledso,  is  sole  heir. 


Roger  de  Berkerolles,  Knt.  his  Pedigree. 

Roger  Berkerolles  aforesaid,  Knt.  to  whom  the 
manor  of  East  Orchard  was  given ;  and  his  issue  male, 
enjoyed  the  same  till  the  thirteenth  year  of  Henrie  the 
Fourth;  that  Sir  Laurence  Berkerolles,  Knt.  died,  whom 
Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.  as  sole  heir  did  succeed,  being 
son  to  Sir  William  Stradling,  Knt.  son  to  Sir  Edward 
Stradling,  Knt.  and  Wenlhian  sole  sister  and  heir  to  the 
said  Sir  Laurence,  of  .whom  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.  (that 
now  is)  is  lineally  descended. 



Reginald  de  Sully,  Knt.  his  Pedigree. 

Reginald  de  Sully,  to  whom  the  castle  and  manor  of 
Sully  was  given,  and  his  issue  male,  enjoyed  the  same  until 
about  King  Edward  the  First's  time.  And  then  it  fell  to  a 
daughter  married  to  Sir  Morgan  de  Avan,  Lord  of  the 
lordship  of  Avan  above-named;  whose  son,  Sir  John  de 
Avan,  had  but  one  daughter,  of  whom  Sir  George  Blunt,  of 
Shropshire,  is  lineally  descended  as  sole  heir,  whose  ances- 
tor gave  the  said  lordship  of  Avan,  and  the  castle  and 
manor  of  Sully  to  the  Lord  Spencer,  in  exchange  for  other 
lands  in  England. 

Peter  le  Soore,  Knt.  his  Pedigree. 

Peter  le  .Soore,  Knt.  to  whom  was  given  the  c,astle 
and  manor  of  Peter's  Towne,  and  his  issue  male,  enjoyed 
the  same  until  King  Henry  the  Fourth's  time,  and  then  died 
without  issue,  and  his  inheritance  fell  between  divers. 

John  le  Fleming,  Knt.  his  Pedigree. 

John  le  Fleming,  Knt.  to  whom  the  castle  and  manor 
.of  S.  George  was  given,  and  his  issue  male,  enjoyed  the 
same  until  King  Henry  the  Fourth's  time ;  and  then  it  fell 
to  Edmond  Malefant,  who  had  married  a  daughter  to  the 
last  Fleming.  And  in  King  Henry  the  Seventh's  time  the 
Malefants'  issue  by  Fleming's  daughter  failed;  and  then 
It  fell  to  John  Butler,  of  Dunreeven  above  named,  Esq.  and 
after  the  death  of  him  and  of  Arnold  his  son,  both  the 
inheritances  of  Fleming  and  Butler  fell  to  Walter  Vaghan, 
of  Brodemard,  in  the  county  of  Hereford,  Esq.  now  living, 
sister's  son  to  the  said  Arnold  Butler. 

Oliuer  de  S.  John,  Knt.  his  Pedigree. 

Oliuer  S.  John,  Knt.  to  whom  the  castle  and  manor 
of  Fonmon  was  given,  and  his  heirs  male  have  ever  since 
enjoyed  the  same,  to  whom  the  above-named  Lord  S.  John, 
ofBledso,  that  now  is,  is  sole  heir;  whose  ancestors  from 



the  winning  of  the  said  lordship  of  Glamorgan  out  of  the 
Welshmens  hands,  have  continually  dwelt  at  Fonmon  afore- 
said, until  the  latter  time  of  King  Edward  the  Fourth. 
That  John  S.  John,  Esq.  had  the  said  lordship  of  Bledso, 
and  many  other  possessions  besides,  by  the  death  of  dame 
Margaret  Beauchampe,  his  mother,  who  was  also  mother  to 
Margaret,  Duchess  of  Somerset,  mother  to  King  Henry  the 
Seventh.  Since  which  time  the  said  John  S.  John,  and  Sir 
John  S.  John,  Knt.  father  to  my  lord  that  now  is,  have 
always  dwelt  in  Bledso,  but  they  do  keep  their  lands  in 
Wales  still  in  their  hands. 

William  le  Esterling,  alias  Stradling,  his  Pedigree. 

1  J^IR  William  Esterling,  Knt.  to  whom  the  castle  and 
manor  of  S.  Donat's  was  given. 

2  Sir  John  le  Esterling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

3  Sir  Morris  le  Esterling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

4  Sir  Robert  le  Esterling,  Knt.  (most  commonly  called 
Stradling  by  shortness  of  speech  and  change  of  some 
letters)  succeeded  him. 

5  Sir  Gilbert  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

6  Sir  William  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him. 

7  Sir  John  Stradling,   Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him. 
It  doth  not  appear  in  what  stock  or  surname  any  of  these 
seven  knights  above  named  did  marry ;  but  the  names  of 
the  wives  of  William  the  first,  Robert,  and  John   the 
second,  were  Hawisia,  Mathilda,  and  Cicilia. 

8  Sir  Peter  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,   succeeded  him, 
who  in  the  beginning  of  King  Edward  the  First's  time 
and  reign  married   lulian,  sole  daughter  and  heir  of 
Thomas  Hawey,  by  whom  he  had  three  manors,  Hawey 
and  Comhawey,  in  Somersetshire,  yet  remaining  to  his 
heirs,  and  Compton  Hawey,  in  Dorsetshire,  sold  of  late 

9  Sir   Edward   Stradling,   Knt.  their  son,    succeeded 
them,  and  he  quartered  the  Haweys'  arms  with  his,  and 
married  with  Elianpr,   daughter  and  heir  to  Gilbert 
Strangbow,  a  younger  brother,  whose  wife  was  daughter 
and  heir  to  Richard  Garnon,    and  had    by  her  two 
manors  in  Oxefordshire. 

10  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him, 
and  married  with  Wenlhian,  daughter  to  Roger  Berk- 
rolles,  Knt.  and  sole  sister  and  heir  to  Sir  Laurence 
Berkrolles,  Knt.  as  it  happened  afterward. 


11  Sir  William  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,  married  with 
Isabel,  daughter  and  heir  to  John  S.  Barbe,  of  Somer- 
setshire ;  but  he  had  no  lands  by  her,  for  it  was  entailed 
to  the  heirs  male.     This  Sir  William,  in  King  Richard 
the  Second's  time,  went  a  pilgrimage  to  Jerusalem,  and 
received  there  also  the  orders  of  knighthood  of   the 
sepulchre  of  Christ. 

12  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knight,   his   son,   succeeded 
him,  who,  because  he  was  sole  heir  general  to  the  said 
S.  Barbe,  did  quarter  S.  Barbe's  arms  with  his.     To 
whom  also  (in  the  thirteenth  year  of  King  Henry  the 
Fourth)  fell  the  whole  inheritance  of  the  Berkerolles, 
and  the  right  of  the  fourth  part  of  Turberuile's  in- 
heritance, Lord  of  Coyty  aforesaid ;  the  which,  for  lack 
of   issue  male  of  the    said  Berkerolles,    remained  to 
Gamage  and  to  his  heirs  male  by  the  especial  entail 
Aforesaid.     The  which  Sir  Edward  did  quarter  not  only 
the  said  Berkerolles'  arms  with  his,  but  also  the  Tur- 
beruiles  and  lestynes  arms ;    of  whom  the  Turberuiles 
had  in  marriage  one  of  the  inheritors  as  is  before  said, 
because  the  said  Sir  Edward  was  one  of  the  four  heirs 
general  to  Sir  Richard  Turberuile,  to  wit,  son  to  Sir 
William  Stradling,  son  to  Wenlhian,  sister  and  heir  to 
the    said    Laurence     Berkerolles,    and    daughter    to 
Catharine,    eldest  sister,   and  one    of   the  four  heirs 
general  to  the  aforesaid  Sir  Richard  Turberuile. 

The  said  Sir  Edward  married  with  Jane,  daughter  to 
Henry  Beauford,  afterwards  Cardinal,  begotten  (before 
he  was  priest)  upon  Alice,  one  of  the  daughters  of 
Richard,  Earl  of  Arundel ;  and  in  the  beginning  of 
King  Henry  the  Seventh's  reign,  he  went  likewise  on 
pilgrimage  unto  lerusalem,  as  his  father  did,  and 
received  the  order  of  the  sepulchre  there. 

This  Sir  Edward  had  to  his  brother  Sir  John  Strad- 
ling, Knight,  who  married  with  the  heir  of  Dauncy,  in 
Wiltshire,  and  had  issue  Sir  Edmond,  who  had  issue 
John  and  Edmond.  John  had  issue  Anne,  Lady 
Davers,  of  whom  the  Davers,  Hugerfordes,  Fynes,  and 
Leuet,  and  a  great  progeny  of  them  are  descended ;  and 
of  the  said  Edmond  cometh  Carnysoyes,  of  Cornewal. 

The  said  Edward  had  another  brother  called  William, 
of  whom  Stradlyn,  of  Ruthyn,  and  others  are  descended ; 
the  same  William  had  a  daughter  named  Wenlhian, 
who,  by  the  Earl  of  Ryuers,  had  a  daughter,  married  to 
Sir  Robert  Poynes,  of  whom  cometh  all  the  Poynes,  the 
Newtons,  Perots,  and  others. 


13  Sir  Harrie   Stradling,   Knight,  his   son,   succeeded 
him,  and  married  with  Elizabeth,  sister  of  whole  blood 
to  Sir  William  Herbert,  Knight,  Earl  of  Penbrooke, 
and  had  issue  by  her  one  son  and  two  daughters ;  one  of 
them  was  married  to  Myles  ap  Harry,  of  whom  Mrs. 
Blanch  ap   Harrie  and  her  brethren    and  uncles   are 
descended ;  the  other  daughter  was  married  to  Fleming, 
of  Monton,  in  Wales. 

This  Sir  Harrie,  in  the  sixteenth  year  of  King  Edward 
the  Fourth,  went  in  like  manner  on  pilgrimage  to  Jeru- 
salem, and  received  the  order  of  the  sepulchre  there,  as 
his  father  and  grandfather  did,  and  died  in  the  Isle  of 
Cypres  in  his  coming  home ;  whose  book  is  to  be  seen 
as  yet,  with  a  letter  that  his  man  brought  from  him  to 
his  lady  and  wife.  The  saying  is,  that  divers  of  his  said 
ancestors  made  the  like  pilgrimage,  but  there  remaineth 
no  memory  in  writing  but  of  these  three. 

This  Sir  Harrie,  sailing  from  his  house  in  Somerset- 
shire to  his  house  in  Wales,  was  taken  prisoner  by  a 
Brytaine  pirate,  named  Colyn  Dolphyn,  whose  redemp- 
tion and  charges  stood  him  in  2000  marks;  for  the 
payment  whereof  he  was  driven  to  sell  the  castle  and 
manor  of  Basselek  and  Sutton,  in  Monmouthshire,  and 
the  manors  in  Oxfordshire. 

14  Thomas  Stradling,  Esq.  his  son,  succeeded  him,  and 
married  lenet,  daughter  to  Thomas  Matthew,  of  Rayder, 
Esq.  and  had  issue  by  her  two  sons,  Edward  and  Harrie, 
and  one  daughter  named  Jane,  and  died  before  he  was 
twenty-six  years  of  age.      After  whose  death,  his  wife 
married  with  Sir  Rice  ap  Thomas,  Knight  of  the  Garter. 
Harrie  married  with  the  daughter  and  heir  of  Thomas 
lubb,  learned  in  the  law,  and  had  issue  by  her  Francis 
Stradling,  of  S.  George,  of  Bristow,  yet  living.     lane 
was  married  to  Sir  William  Gruffyth,  of  North  Wales, 
Knt.  and  had  issue  by  her  three  sons,  Edward,  Sir  Rice 
Gruffyth,  Knt.  and  John,  and  seven  daughters.     The 
oldest  married  to  Stanley,  of  Houghton,  the  second  to 
Sir  Richard  Buckley,  Knt.    the  third  to  Lewys,    the 
fourth  to  Moston,  the   fifth  to  Conwey,   the  sixth  to 
Williams,  the  seventh  to  Pers  Motton,  and  after  to 
Simon  Theloal,  Esq.  whose  wife  at  this  time  she  is ;  the 
eighth  to  Philips.     Of  which  daughters  there  be  a  won- 
derful   number    descended.      Edward    married  Jane, 
daughter  to  Sir  J  ohn  Puleston,  Knt.  and  had  issue  by 
her  three  daughters ;  Jane  married  to  William  Herbert, 
of  S.  Julian ;  Catharine  married,  to  William  Herbert,  of 



Swansey,  and  another  daughter  married  to  Sir  Nicholas 
Bagnoll,  Knt. 

15  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.  succeeded  his  father,  and 
married  with  Elizabeth,  one  of  the  three  daughters  of 
Sir  Thomas  Arundell,  of  Lanheyron,  in  Cornewall,  Knt. 
The  other  two  were  married  to  Speke  and  S.  Lowe,  and 
had  issue  four  sons,  Thomas,   Robert,   Edward,  and 
John.     Robert  married  Watkyn  Lodher's  daughter,  and 
by  her  hath  many  children ;  Edward  married  with  the 
daughter  and  heir  of  Robert  Baglan,  of  Lantwit,  and 
hath  also  divers  children  ;  and  John  is  a  priest.     Also 
the  said  Sir  Edward  had  two  daughters ;  Jane  married 
to  Alexander  Popham,  of  Somersetshire,  of  whom  is  a 
great  number  descended  ;  and  Catharine  married  to  Sir 
Thomas  Palmer,   of  Sussex,  who  hath  a  son  named 

16  Sir  Thomas  Stradling,  Knt.  his  son,  succeeded  him, 
and  married   Catharine,  the  eldest    daughter    to    Sir 
Thomas  Gamage,  of  Coyty,Knt.  and  to  dame  Margaret 
his  wife,  daughter  to  Sir  John  S.  John,  of  Bledso,  Knt. 
by   whom  he  hath  living  yet  two  sons,  Edward  and 
Dauid ;  and  five  daughters,  Elizabeth,  Damasyn,  lane, 
loice,  and  Wenlhian. 

17  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt.   that  now  is,  married 
Agnes,  second  daughter  to  Sir  Edward  Gage,  of  Sussex, 
Knt.  and  as  yet  in  the  year  1572  hath  no  issue. 

Memorandum,  that  of  the  heirs  male  of  the  aforesaid 
twelve  knights  that  came  with  Sir  Robert  Fitzhamori  to 
the  winning  of  Glamorgan,  the  lordship  aforesaid,  there 
is  at  this  day  but  the  Stradling  alive,  that  dwelleth  in 
Wales,  and  enjoy eth  the  portion  given  in  reward  to  his 

There  be  yet  of  the  younger  brothers  of  the  Turberuiles 
and  Flemings. 

Greenefeeld  and  Syward  do  yet  remain,  but  they 
dwell  in  England,  and  have  done  away  their  lands  in 

The  Lord  S.  John,  of  Bledso  (although  he  keepeth 
his  ancient  inheritance  in  Wales)  yet  he  dwelleth  in 

Thus  far  the  copy  of  the  winning  of  Glamorgan,  as  I 
received  the  same  at  the  hands  of'  Mrs.  Blanch  Parrie, 
penned  by  Sir  Edward  Stradling,  Knt. 




We  may  here  observe  what  a  train  of  circumstances 
concurred  together,  in  favour  of  the  Normans  having  pos- 
session of  this  lordship :  for  had  not  Eineon,  being  van- 
quished by  Prince  Rhys,  fled  to  lestyn  rather  than  to 
another,  or  had  not  lestyn  been  so  vain  as  to  attempt  the 
conquest  of  South  Wales,  and  to  that  end  consented  to  the 
advice  of  Eineon,  there  had  been  no  necessity  of  inviting 
the  Normans  at  all  to  Wales.  And  then,  the  Normans 
being  arrived,  had  not  Testyn  faithlessly  violated  his  pro- 
mise, and  refused  to  perform  the  articles  agreed  upon 
between  him  and  Eineon,  or  had  not  Eineon  pursued  so 
desperate  a  revenge,  but  satisfied  his  passion  upon  lestyn, 
without  prejudice  to  his  country,  the  Normans  would  have 
returned  home  with  satisfaction,  and  consequently  could 
never  have  been  proprietors  of  that  noble  country  they  then 
forcibly  possessed.  And  again,  the  Welsh  here  experienced 
the  dangerous  consequence  of  calling  in  a  foreign  nation  to 
their  aid ;  the  Saxons  had  already  dispossessed  them  of  the 
best  part  of  the  island  of  Britain,  and  now  the  Normans 
seized  upon  a  great  part  of  that  small  country  which  had 
escaped  the  sovereignty  and  conquest  of  the  English. 

About  the  same  time  that  Robert  Fitzhamon  took  the 
lordship  of  Glamorgan,  Barnard  Newmarch,*  a  nobleman 
likewise  of  Normandy,  obtained  by  conquest  the  lordship  of 
Brecknock;  and  Henry  de  Newburgh,  son  to  Roger  de 
Bellemont,  by  the  Conqueror  made  Earl  of  Warwick,  the 
country  of  Gower.  But  Barnard  Newmarch  gave  the  peo- 
ple of  Wales  some  small  satisfaction  and  content,  by  marry- 
ing Nest,  the  daughter  also  of  Nest,  daughter  to  Lhewelyn 
ap  Gruffydh  Prince  of  Wales,  by  whom  he  had  issue  a  son 
called  Mahael.  This  worthy  gentleman  being  legally  to 
succeed  his  father  in  the  lordship  of  Brecknock,  was  after- 
wards disinherited  by  the  malice  and  baseness  of  his  own 
unnatural  mother.  The  occasion  was  thus :  Nest  becoming 
enamoured  of  a  certain  knight,  with  whom  she  had  more 
than  ordinary  familiarity,  even  beyond  what  she  expressed 
to  her  own  husband ;  Mahael,  who  perceived  her  dissolute 
and  loose  behaviour,  counselled  her  to  take  care  of  her 
fame  and  reputation,  and  to  leave  off  that  scandalous  liberty 
which  she  took ;  and  afterwards  meeting  casually  her  gallant 
coming  from  her,  fought  and  grievously  wounded  him. 


*  Several  gentlemen  came  about  this  time  to  Brecknock  with  Barnard  Newmarch,  to 
whom  he  gave  the  following  manors,  which  their  heirs  enjoy  at  this  time  :  The  manor  of 
Abercynvric  and  Slowch  to  the  Aubreys  :  the  manors  of  Llanhamlach  and  Tal-v-Lhyn 
to  the  Walbiefs:  the  manor  of  Gilston  to  the  Gunters  :  and  the  manor  of  Pontw'ilym  to 
the  Havards,  &c.— See  Welsh  Chron.  p.  150.— Camden's  Britannia,  p.  590,  Gibson's  Edit 


Upon  this  Nest,  to  be  revenged  upon  her  son,  went  to 
Henry  the  First,  King  of  England,  and  in  his  presence  took 
her  corporeal  oath,  that  her  son  was  illegitimate,  and  not  begot 
by  Barnard  Newmarch  her  husband,  but  by  another  person ; 
by  virtue  of  which  oath,  or  rather  perjury,   Mahael  was 
disinherited,  and  his  sister,  whom  her  mother  attested  to  be 
legitimate,  was  bestowed  by  the  King  upon  Milo,  the  son 
of  Walter  Constable,  afterwards  Earl  of  Hereford,  who,  in 
right  of  his  wife,    enjoyed  the  whole  estate  of  Barnard 
Newmarch,  Lord  of  Brecknock.     Of  this  Milo,  it  is  re- 
ported, that  telling  King  Henry  of  a  strange  accident  which 
had  occurred  to  him  by  Lhyn  Savathan,  in  Wales,  where 
the  birds  upon  the  pond,  at  the  passing  by  of  Gruffydh,  the 
son  of  Rhys  ap  Theoder,  seemed  by  their  chirping  to  be  in 
a  manner  overjoyed ;  the  king  replied,  it  was  not  so  wonder- 
ful, "  for  although  (says  he)  manifestly  we  have  violently 
and  injuriously  oppressed  that  nation,  yet  it  is  known  that 
they  are  the  lawful  and  original  inheritors  of  that  country." 
Whilst  the  Normans  were  thus  carving  for  themselves  in 
Glamorgan  and  Brecknock,  Cadogan  ap  Blethyn  ap  Confyn, 
towards  the  end  of  April,  entered  into  Dy  ved,  and,  having 
ravaged  and  destroyed  the  country,  returned  back:   but 
within  eight  weeks  after  there  succeeded  him  a  more  fatal 
enemy ;  for  the  Normans  landing  in  Dyved  and  Cardigan, 
began  to  fortify  themselves  in  castles  and  other   strong 
places,  and  to  inhabit  the  country  upon    the  sea-shore, 
which  before  was  not  in  their  possession.      Indeed   the 
Normans,  having  by  the  connivance  of  the  Conqueror  al- 
ready got  into  their  hands  all  the  best  estates  in  England, 
began  now  to  spy  out   the  commodities   of  Wales;    and 
perceiving,  moreover,    how  well  Robert  Fitzhamon    and 
Barnard  Newmarch  had  sped  there,  thought  they  might 
expect  the  like  fortune.      Wherefore,  having  obtained  a 
grant  from  King  William  (who  readily  consented  to  their 
request,  because  by  this  means  he  killed  two  birds  with  one 
stone,  procuring  to  himself  their  utmost  service  upon  occa- 
sion, and  withal  providing  for  them  without  any  charge  to 
himself)  they  came  to   Wales,  and  so  entered  upon  the 
estates  appointed  them  by  the  king,  which  they  held  of  him 
by  knight-service,  having  first  done  homage   and    sworn 
fealty  for  the  same.     Roger  Montgomery  Earl  of  Arundel 
did  homage  for  the  lordships  of  Powys  and  Cardigan; 
Hugh  Lupus  Earl  of  Chester  for  Tegengl  and  Ryfonioc, 
together  with  all  the  land  lying  upon  the  sea-shore  to  the 
river  Conwy;    Arnulph,   a  younger  son  of  Roger  Mont- 
gomery, for  Dyved:  Barnard  Newmarch  for  Brecknock; 



Ralph  Mortimer  for  Elvel;  Hugh  de  Lacy  for  the  land  of 
Ewyas;  Eustace  Omer  for  Mold  and  Hapredale;  and 
several  others  did  the  like  homage  for  other  lands.  But 
Roger  Montgomery,  who  by  the  Conqueror  was  created 
Earl  of  Arundel  and  Shrewsbury,  entered  in  an  hostile 
manner  into  Powysland,  and  having  won  the  castle  and 
town  of  Baldwyn,  fortified  it  in  his  own  right,  and  called  it 
Montgomery  after  his  own  name.*  King  William  of  Eng- 
land WPS  now  in  Normandy,  and  busily  engaged  in  a  war 
against  his  brother  Robert;  and  taking  advantage  of  his 
absence,  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  and 
Cadogan  ap  Blethyn,  who  now  ruled  in  South  Wales,  with 
joint  force  entered  into  Cardigan,  and  slew  a  great  number 
of  Normans,  whose  arrogance  and  excessive  cruelty  towards 
the  Welsh  were  become  intolerable.  After  taking  suffi- 
cient revenge  there  they  returned  home,  and  the  Normans 
sent  for  aid  from  England;  which  being  arrived,  they 
thought  to  make  a  private  inroad  into  North  Wales,  and  so 
to  be  avenged  upon  the  Welsh :  but  their  design  being 
discovered  to  Cadogan,  he  drew  up  his  forces  to  meet  them, 
and  unexpectedly  falling  upon  them  in  the  forest  of  Yspys, 
after  a  very  warm  resistance  on  the  part  of  the  Normans,  he 
forced  them  to  retire  by  flight,  and  then  triumphantly  march- 
ing through  Cardigan  and  Dyved,  he  destroyed  all  the 
castles  and  fortifications  in  the  country,  excepting  those  of 
Pembroke  and  Rydcors,  which  proved  too  strong,  and,  as 
regarded  his  force,  were  impregnable. 

The  next  year,  the  Normans  who  inhabited  the  country  of  A.  D.  1C93. 
Glamorgan  invaded  and  ravaged  the  countries  of  Gwyr, 
Kidwely,  and  Ystrad  Tywy,  which  they  harassed  in  such  a 
cruel  manner,  that  they  left  them  bare  of  inhabitants ;  and 
to  increase  the  miseries  of  the  Welsh,  King  William  Rufus, 
being  informed  of  the  great  slaughter  which  Gruflfydh  ap 
Conan  and  the  sons  of  Blethyn  ap  Confyn  had  lately  com- 
mitted upon  the  English,  as  well  within  Cheshire,  Shrop- 
shire, Worcestershire,  and  Herefordshire,  as  within  Wales, 
entered  the  country  at  Montgomery,  which  place  the  Welsh 
having  some  time  since  demolished  King  William  had 
recently  rebuilt :  but  the  Welsh  kept  all  the  passages  thro' 
the  woods  and  rivers,  and  all  other  straits,  so  close,  that  the 
King  could  effect  nothing  considerable  against  them;  and 
therefore  when  he  perceived  that  his  labour  was  but  lost  in 
continuing  in  those  parts,  he  forthwith  retreated,  and  re- 
turned without  honour  to  England.  This  retreat  of  King  1094 

*  See  Camden's  Brit-  p.  650.  Gibson's  Edition  .—Welsh  Chron.  p.  152. 


William  was  not  altogether  so  favourable  to  the  interest  of 
the  Welsh  as  the  death  of  William  Fitz-Baldwyn,  who  was 
owner  of  the  castle  of  Rydcors,  and  who  did  more  injury  to 
the  men  of  South  Wales  than  any  other  person.  He  being 
dead,  the  garrison  of  Rydcors,  which  was  wont  to  keep  the 
Welsh  in  continual  awe,  forsook  that  place,  and  by  that 
means  gave  opportunity  to  the  inhabitants  of  Gwyr,  Breck- 
nock, Gwent,  and  Gwentlhwc,  to  shake  off  the  intolerable 
yoke  which  the  Normans  had  forced  upon  them,  who,  after 
they  had  robbed  them  of  their  lands,  kept  them  in  con- 
tinual subjection.  William  Fitz-Baldwyn  being  now,  how- 
ever, dead,  and  the  garrison  of  Rydcors  scattered,  they 
ventured  to  lay  violent  hands  upon  the  Normans,  who 
thought  themselves  free  from  all  danger;  and  they  pre- 
vailed so  successfully,  that  they  drove  them  all  out  of  the 
country,  and  recovered  their  own  ancient  estates :  but  the 
Normans  thus  ousted  liked  that  country  so  well,  that  they 
were  resolved  not  to  be  so  easily  deprived  of  what  they  had 
with  a  great  deal  of  pains  and  danger  once  possessed ;  and 
therefore  having  drawn  a  great  number  of  English  and 
Normans  to  their  aid,  they  were  anxious  to  venture  another 
encounter  with  the  Welsh,  and  to  return,  if  possible,  to 
their  once  acquired  habitations.  The  Welsh,  however,  so 
abhorred  their  arrogant  and  tyrannical  dominion  over  them 
when  they  were  masters,  that  they  were  resolved  not  to  be 
subject  to  such  tyrants  again;  and  therefore  they  boldly 
met  them  at  a  place  called  Celly  larfawc,  and  fell  upon 
them  so  manfully,  (the  very  apprehension  of  servitude  in- 
citing their  spirits,)  that  they  put  them  to  flight  with  great 
slaughter,  and  drove  them  out  of  the  country.  Yet  the 
Normans  were  not  absolutely  routed  in  this  overthrow :  for, 
like  a  fly  in  the  night,  that  destroys  itself  in  the  candle, 
they  must  needs  seek  their  own  destruction ;  and  their  gree- 
diness urging  them  on  to  venture  that  with  few  which  was 
not  practicable  by  many,  they  came  as  far  as  Brecknock, 
with  a  vow  and  determination  not  to  leave  one  living  thing 
remaining  in  that  country:  but  they  fell  short  of  their 
intention,  for  the  people  of  the  country  having  placed  them- 
selves at  a  narrow  strait,  expecting  their  passing  through, 
as  soon  as  the  Normans  came  up,  fell  upon  them,  and  killed 
a  great  number  of  them.  About  the  same  time,  Roger 
Montgomery  Earl  of  Salop  and  Arundel,  William  Fitz- 
eustace  Earl  of  Gloucester,  Arnold  de  Harecourt,  and 
Neal  le  Vicount,  were  slain  by  the  Welsh  between  Caerdiff 
and  Brecknock,  and  Walter  Eureux  Earl  of  Sarum,  Rosmer, 
Mantilake,  and  Hugh  Earl  of  Gourney,  were  wounded, 



who  afterwards  died  in  Normandy.*  The  Normans,  finding 
that  they  continually  lost  ground,  thought  it  not  advisable 
to  stay  any  longer;  and  therefore  having  placed  sufficient 
garrisons  in  those  castles  which  they  had  formerly  built, 
they  returned  with  what  speed  they  could  to  England. 
Yet  all  the  haste  they  made  could  not  secure  them  from  the 
fury  of  the  Welsh;  for  Gruffydh  and  Ifor,  the  sons  of 
Ednerth  ap  Cadogan,  waylaid  them  at  a  place  called  Aber- 
Ihech,  where,  falling  unexpectedly  upon  them,  they  slew  the 
greatest  part  of  their  number,  the  remainder  narrowly 
escaping  in  safety  to  England :  but  the  Norman  garrisons 
which  were  left  behind  defended  themselves  with  a  great 
deal  of  bravery,  till  at  last,  finding  no  prospect  of  relief, 
they  were  forced  for  their  own  safety  to  deliver  up  the 
fortresses  to  the  Welsh,  who  from  that  time  became  again 
proprietors  of  those  places  of  which  the  Normans  had 
dispossessed  them.  This  encouraged  the  Welsh  to  under- 
take other  things  against  the  English;  for  immediately 
after  this,  certain  of  the  nobility  of  North  Wales,  Uchthred 
the  son  of  Edwyn  ap  Grono  by  name,  together  with  Howel 
ap  Grono,  and  the  sons  of  Cadogan  ap  Blethyn  of  Powys- 
land,  passed  by  Cardigan  into  Dyved  (which  country  King 
William  had  given  to  Arnulph  son  to  Roger  Montgomery, 
who  had  built  thereon  the  castle  of  Pembroke,  and  appointed 
Gerald  de  Windsor  governor  of  the  same,)f  and  destroying 
all  the  country  with  fire  and  sword,  excepting  Pembroke 
castle,  which  was  impregnable,  they  returned  home  with  a 
great  deal  of  booty.  In  return  for  this,  when  the  lords  of 
North  Wales  had  retired,  Gerald  issued  out  of  the  castle, 
and  spoiled  all  the  country  about  St.  David's ;  and  after  he 
had  obtained  much  plunder,  and  taken  divers  prisoners, 
returned  to  the  castle. 

The  year  following,  King  William  returned  from  Nor-  A.  D.  1095. 
mandy,  and  having  heard  how  the  Welsh  had  cut  off  a 
great  number  of  his  subjects  in  Wales,  gathered  all  his 
power  together,  and  with  great  pomp  and  ostentation  en- 
tered the  marches,  resolving  utterly  to  eradicate  the  rebel- 
lious and  implacable  disposition  of  the  Welsh  nation :  but 
after  all  this  boast  and  seeming  resolution,  he  ventured  no 
farther  than  the  marches,  and  having  built  there  some  few 
castles,  he  returned  with  no  greater  honour  than  he  came. 
In  the  next  spring,  Hugh  de  Montgomery  Earl  of  Arundel  1096. 
and  Salop,  by  the  Welsh  named  Hugh  G6ch,J  and  Hugh 

i  2 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  154.  f  Ibid. 

J  Hugh  with  a  red  head.  • 

116  ,     HISTORY  OF  WALES. 

Fras,  or  the  Fat,  Earl  of  Chester,  being  invited  by  some 
disaffected  Welsh  lords,  came  into  North  Wales  with  a  very 
great  army.  Prince  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  and  Cadogan  ap 
Blethyn,  perceiving  themselves  to  be  too  weak  to  oppose  so 
numerous  an  army,  and,  what  was  worse,  suspecting  the 
fidelity  of  their  own  forces,  thought  it  best  to  take  to  the 
hills  and  mountains  for  safety,  as  the  places  where  they 
might  remain  most  secure  from  the  enemy.  Then  the 
English  army  marched  towards  Anglesey,  and  being  come 
opposite  the  island,  they  built  the  castle  of  Aberlhiennawc : 
but  Gruffydh  and  Cadogan  could  no  longer  endure  to  see 
their  country  over-run  by  the  English,  and  therefore  they 
descended  from  the  mountains  and  came  to  Anglesey,  think- 
ing, with  what  succours  they  should  receive  from  Ireland, 
(of  which  they  were  disappointed,)  to  be  able  to  defend  the 
island  from  any  attempt  that  should  be  made  upon  it :  and 
then  the  whole  reason  and  occasion  of  the  English  coming 
to  Wales  was  discovered ;  for  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  the  Prince's 
chief  counsellor,  whose  daughter  Gruffydh  had  married 
(having  himself  also  married  Everyth  the  daughter  of 
Confyn,  aunt  to  Cadogan),  upon  some  private  pique  or 
other,  had  requested  the  English  to  come  into  Wales,  and 
he  at  this  time  openly  joined  his  forces  with  theirs,  and  led 
the  whole  army  over  into  Anglesey.  Gruffydh  and  Cadogan 
finding  they  were  thus  betrayed  by  him  that  they  had 
believed  to  be  their  dearest  friend,  for  fear  of  farther 
treachery,  judged  it  prudent  to  sail  privately  for  Ireland; 
after  whose  departure  the  English  fell  cruelly  to  work, 
destroying  all  they  could  come  at,  without  any  respect 
either  to  age  or  sex. 

Whilst  the  English  continued  in  Anglesey,  Magnus  the 
son  of  Harold,  lately  King  of  England,  came  over  with  a 
great  fleet,  intending  to  take  more  secure  hold  upon  that 
kingdom  than  his  father  had  done,  and  to  recover  the  same 
to  himself:  but  whilst  he  steered  his  course  thitherward,  he 
was  driven  by  contrary  winds  to  the  coast  of  Anglesey, 
where  he  would  fain  have  landed  had  not  the  English  army 
kept  him  off.  In  this  skirmish  Magnus  accidentally  wound- 
ed Hugh  Earl  of  Salop  with  an  arrow  in  the  face,  whereof 
he  died;*  and  then  both  armies  suddenly  relinquished  the 
A.  D.  1097.  island,  the  English  returning  to  England,  appointing  Owen 


*  The  Norwegian  Prince,  on  seeing  him  fall,  exultingly  cried  "  Let  him  dance."— 
Giraldus  Cambrensis,  Itin.  6,  7.  Simon  Dunelme,  p.  223. 

This  accidental  stroke  of  justice,  seen  by  the  eye  of  superstition,  made  the  Welsh  to 
conclude  that  the  arrow  had  been  directed  by  the  immediate  hand  of  the  Almighty. — 


ap  Edwyn,  who  invited  them  over,  prince  of  the  country. 
Owen  did  not  enjoy  the  principality  long;  for  in  the 
beginning  of  the  following  spring,  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  and 
Cadogan  ap  Blethyn  returned  -from  Ireland,  and  having 
concluded  a  peace  with  the  Normans  for  some  part  of  their 
lands  in  Wales,  Gruffydh  remained  in  Anglesey,  and 
Cadogan  had  Cardigan,  with  part  of  Powys :  but  though 
Cadogan  recovered  his  estate,  yet  in  a  little  while  after  he 
lost  his  son  Lhewelyn,  who  was  treacherously  murdered  by 
the  men  of  Brecknock :  at  which  time  also  died  Rythmarch, 
Archbishop  of  St.  David,  the  son  of  Sulien,  being  in  the 
forty-third  year  of  his  age ;  a  man  of  greater  piety,  wisdom, 
and  learning  than  had  flourished  for  a  long  period  in  Wales, 
excepting  his  father,  under  whose  tutelage  he  was  edu- 
cated. The  year  following,  King  William  Rufus,  as  he  1098. 
was  hunting  in  the  New  Forest,  was  accidentally  slain  with 
an  arrow,  which  one  Walter  Tyrrel  shot  at  a  stag ;  and  his 
eldest  brother  being  then  engaged  in  the  Holy  War,  Henry, 
his  younger  brother,  whom  in  his  life-time  he  had  nomi- 
nated his  successor,  was  crowned  in  his  stead.  The  same 
year,  Hugh  Earl  of  Chester,  Grono  ap  Cadogan,  and  Gwyn 
ap  Gruffydh,  departed  this  life. 

About  two  years  after,  a  rebellion  broke  out  in  England ;  noo. 
Robert  de  Belesmo,  the  son  of  Roger  de  Montgomery 
Earl  of  Salop,  and  Arnulph  his  brother,  Earl  of  Pembroke, 
took  up  arms  against  King  Henry ;  which  he  being  informed 
of,  sent  them  a  very  gracious  message  to  come  before  him 
and  declare  their  grievances,  and  the  reason  of  their  rising 
up  in  arms  against  his  Majesty :  but  the  Earls,  instead  of 
appearing  in  person,  sent  him  slight  and  frivolous  excuses, 
and  in  the  mean  while  made  all  necessary  preparations  for 
the  war,  both  by  raising  offerees  and  fortifying  their  castles 
and  strongholds.  And  to  strengthen  themselves  the  more, 
they  sent  rich  presents,  and  made  large  promises  to  lorwerth, 
Cadogan,  and  Meredith,  the  sons  of  Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  to 
bring  them  to  their  side.  Robert  fortified  four  castles, 
namely,  Arundel,  Tekinhil,  Shrewsbury,  and  Brugge; 
which  last,  by  reason  that  Robert  built  it  without  the  con- 
sent of  the  king,  was  the  chief  occasion  of  this  war ;  and 
Arnulph  fortified  his  castle  at  Pembroke.  After  this,  they 
entered  in  an  hostile  manner  into  the  territories  of  the 
King  of  England,  wasting  and  destroying  all  before  them ; 
and  to  augment  their  strength,  Arnulph  sent  Gerald  his 
steward  to  Murkart  King  oflreland,  desiring  his  daughter 
in  wedlock ;  which  was  readily  granted,  with  the  promise 
too  of  great  succours  and  large  supplies.  King  Henry,  to 



put  a  stop  to  their  bold  adventures,  marched  in  person 
against  them,  and,  laying  siege  to  the  castle  of  Arundel,  won 
it  without  any  great  opposition ;  and  quickly  afterwards  the 
pastle  of  Tekinhill ;  but  that  of  Brugge,  by  reason  of  the 
situation  of  the  place,  and  the  depth  of  the  ditch  about  it, 
seemed  to  require  longer  time  and  harder  service;  and 
therefore  King  Henry  was  advised  to  send  privately  to 
lorwerth  ap  Blethyn,  promising  him  great  rewards  if  he 
forsook  the  Earls'  part  and  came  over  to  him,  urging  to 
him  what  mischief  Roger,  Earl  Robert's  father,  and  his 
brother  Hugh,  had  continually  done  to  the  Welshmen: 
and  to  make  him  the  more  willing  to  accept  his  proposals, 
he  promised  to  give  him  all  such  lands  as  the  Earl  and  his 
brother  had  in  Wales,  without  either  tribute  or  homage; 
which  was  a  part  of  Powys,  Cardigan,  and  half  Dyved,  the 
other  part  being  in  the  possession  of  William  Fitz-Baldwyn. 
lorwerth  receiving  these  offers,  accepted  them  very  gladly, 
and  then  coming  to  the  king,  he  sent  all  his  forces  to  Earl 
Robert's  lands,  who,  having  received  very  strict  orders, 
destroyed  without  mercy  every  thing  they  met  with ;  and 
what  made  the  spoil  the  greater,  Earl  Robert,  upon  his 
rebelling  against  King  Henry,  had  caused  his  people  to 
convey  all  their  goods  to  Wales  for  fear  of  the  English,  not 
thinking  how  his  father's  memory  sounded  among  the 
Welsh.  When  the  news  of  lorwerth's  revolt  reached  the 
ears  of  the  Earl,  and  of  Cadogan  and  Meredith,  lorwerth's 
brothers,  their  spirits  began  to  faint,  as  despairing  any 
longer  to  oppose  the  king,  since  lorwerth,  who  was  the 
person  of  greatest  power  in  Wales,  had  left  and  forsaken 
them.  Arnulph  was  gone  to  Ireland  to  fetch  home  his 
wife,  and  to  bring  over  what  succour  his  father-in-law, 
King  Murkart,  could  afford  to  send  him ;  but  he  not  coming 
in  time,  some  other  method  was  to  be  tried,  in  order  to 
obtain  aid  against  the  English.  A  little  before  this  rebel- 
lion broke  out,  Magnus,  Harold's  son,  landed  the  second 
time  in  the  Isle  of  Anglesey,  and  being  kindly  received  by 
GrufFydh  ap  Conan,  he  had  leave  to  cut  down  what  timber 
he  had  need  for;  and  so  returning  to  the  Isle  of  Man,  which 
he  had  got  by  conquest,  he  built  there  three  castles,  and 
then  sent  to  Ireland  to  have  the  daughter  of  Murkart  in 
marriage  to  his  son,  which  being  obtained,  he  created  him 
King  of  Man.  Earl  Robert  hearing  this,  sent  to  Magnus 
for  aid  against  King  Henry ;  but  receiving  none,  he  thought 
it  high  time  to  look  to  his  own  safety ;  and  therefore  he  sent 
to  the  king,  requesting  that  he  might  quietly  depart  the 
kingdom,  in  case  he  should  lay  down  his  arms,  which  the 



king  having  granted,  he  sailed  to  Normandy:  and  then 
King  Henry  sent  an  express  to  his  brother  Arnulph,  re- 
quiring him  either  to  follow  his  brother  out  of  the  kingdom 
or  to  deliver  himself  up  to  his  mercy ;  and  so  Arnulph  went 
over  also  to  Normandy.  When  the  king  was  returned  to 
London,  lorwerth  took  his  brother  Meredith  prisoner,  and 
committed  him  to  the  king's  custody;  his  other  brother 
Cadogan  having  reconciled  himself  beforehand,  to  whom 
lorwerth  gave  Cardigan,  with  a  part  of  Powys.  Then 
lorwerth  went  to  London,  to  put  the  king  in  mind  of  his 
promise,  and  the  service  he  had  done  him  against  Earl 
Robert;  but  the  king  finding  that  now  all  matters  were 
quiet,  was  deaf  to  all  such  remembrances,  and  instead  of 
promising  what  he  had  once  voluntarily  proposed,  he,  con- 
trary to  all  rules  of  equity  and  gratitude,  took  away  Dyfed 
from  lorwerth,  and  gave  it  to  a  knight  of  his  own  called 
Saer ;  and  Straty wy,  Cydwely,  and  Gwyr,  he  bestowed  upon 
Howel  ap  Grono,  and  sent  lorwerth  away  more  empty  than 
he  came :  nor  was  this  sufficient  reward  for  his  former  serv- 
ices,— for  the  next  year  King  Henry  sent  some  of  his  council  A.  D.  1101. 
to  Shrewsbury,  and  cited  lorwerth  to  appear  there,  under 
pretence  of  consulting  about  the  king's  business  and  affairs 
of  those  parts;  but  the  plot  was  laid  deeper,  and  when, 
without  any  suspicion  of  treachery,  he  made  his  appearance, 
he  was,  to  his  great  surprise,  attainted  of  high  treason,  and, 
contrary  to  all  right  and  justice,  actually  condemned  to 
perpetual  imprisonment  ;*  the  true  reason  of  this  unparaL 
leled  severity  being,  that  the  king  feared  his  strength,  and 
was  apprehensive  that  he  would  revenge  the  wrong  and 
affront  he  had  received  at  his  hands :  and  indeed  well  had 
he  reason  to  fear  that,  when  he  so  ungratefully  treated  him 
by  whose  service  he  had  experienced  such  great  advantages. 
But  the  policy  of  princes  is  unaccountable  ;  and  whether  to 
value  an  eminent  person  for  his  service,  or  to  fear  him  for 
his  greatness,  is  a  subject  that  frequently  disturbs  their 
most  settled  considerations.  The  noblemen  that  were  at 
this  time  sent  by  the  king  to  Shrewsbury,  were  Richard  de 
Belmersh,f  who  being  a  chief  agent  of  Roger  Montgomery 
Earl  of  Salop,  was  preferred  to  the  bishoprick  of  London, 
and  afterwards  appointed  by  that  king  to  be  warden  of  the 
marches,  and  governor  of  the  county  of  Salop.  With  him 
were  joined  in  company,  Walter  Constable,  the  father  of 
Milo,  Earl  of  Hereford,  and  Rayner,  the  king's  lieutenant 
in  the  county  of  Salop.  About  this  time,  as  Bale  writes, 
the  church  of  Menevia  or  St.  David  began  to  be  subject  to 

*  Welsh  Chron.  159,  160.  f  Richard  de  Belmarsh. 


the  see  of  Canterbury,  being  always  previously  the  metro- 
politan church  of  all  Wales. 

A.  D.  1102.      Shortly  after  this,  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  who  had  been  author 
of  no  small  mischief  and  disturbance  to  the  Welsh    in 
moving  the  English  against  his  natural  prince  and  son-in- 
law  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  departed  this  life,  after  a  tedious 
and  miserable  sickness ;  of  which  he  was  so  much  the  less 
pitied  by  how  much  he  had  proved  an  enemy  and  a  traitor 
to  his  native  country.     Edwyn  was  the  son  of  Grono  by  his 
wife  Edelflede,  the  widow  of  Edmund,  surnamed  Ironside, 
King  of  England ;  and  had  the  title  of  Tegengl ;  though 
the  English,  when  they  had  compelled  Gruffydh  ap  Conan 
to  flee  to  Ireland  for  safety,  constituted  him  Prince  of  all 
North  Wales.     After  his  death,  Richard  Fitz-Baldwyn  laid 
siege  to  and  took  the  castle  of  Rydcors,  and  forcibly  drove 
Howel  ap  Grono,  to  whom  King  Henry  had  committed  the 
custody  of  it,  out  of  the  country.     But  Howel  quickly  re- 
turned, and,  with  a  high  spirit  of  revenge,  began  to  destroy 
and  burn  whatsoever  he  could  meet  with,  and  then  meeting 
a  party  of  the  Normans  in  their  return  homeward,  he  fell 
upon  the  flank  of  them  with  a  very  considerable  slaughter ; 
and  so  brought  all  the  country  to  his  subjection,  excepting 
some  few  garrisons  and  castles  which  would  not  surrender 
to  him.     At  the  same  time  King  Henry  took  away  from 
Saer  the  government  of  Dyfed,  which  formerly  was  lorwerth 
ap  Blethyn's,  and  bestowed  it  upon  Gerald,  who  had  been 
some  time  Earl  Arnulph's   steward  in  those  parts;    and 
therefore,  by  reason  of  his  knowledge  of  the  country,  was  in 
all  probability  best  able  to  take  upon  himself  the  manage- 
ment of  it:    but  the  Normans   in  Rydcors  castle    being 
sensible  that  they  were  not  able  to  effect  any  thing  against 
Howel  ap  Grono  in  open  field,  after  their  accustomed  man- 
ner, began  to  put  that  in  execution  by  treachery  which  they 
could  not  compass  by  force  of  arms ;  and  that  they  might 
make  Howel  a  sacrifice  for  those  Normans  he  had  lately 
slain,  they  could  find  no  safer  way  than  by  corrupting  one 
Gwgan  ap  Meyric,  a  man  in  great  favour  and  esteem  with 
Howel,  upon  the  account  chiefly  that  one  of  his  children 
was  nursed  by  Gwgan's  wife.     This  ungrateful  villain,  to 
carry  on  his  wicked  intrigue  the'  more  unsuspected,  gave 
Howel  a  very  earnest  invitation  to  his  house  to  a  merriment, 
where,  without  any  suspicion  of  treachery,  being  come,  he 
was  welcomed  with  all  the  seeming  affection  and  kindness 
imaginable:   but  no  sooner  was  he  arrived,   than   Gwgan 
gave  notice  thereof  to  the  Norman  garrisons ;  and  by  break 
pf  day  they  entered  the  town,  and  coming  about  the  house 



where  Howel  lay  in  bed,  they  presently  gave  a  great  shout. 
Howel  hearing  the  noise,  suspected  something  of  mischief, 
and  therefore  leaping  in  all  haste  out  of  bed,  he  made  to  his 
weapons,  but  could  not  find  them,  by  reason  that  Gwgan 
had  conveyed  them  away  whilst  he  was  asleep;  and 'now 
being  assured  of  treachery  in  the  case,  and  finding  that  his 
men  had  fled  for  their  lives,  he  endeavoured  all  he  could  to 
make  his  escape,  but  Gwgan  and  his  company  were  too 
quick  for  him,  and  so  being  secured  they  strangled  him, 
and  delivered  his  body  to  the  Normans,  who  having  cut  off 
his  head  conveyed  it  to  the  castle  of  Rydcors.  This  most 
villainous  murder,  so  barbarously  committed  upon  the  king's 
lieutenant,  was  not  in  the  least  taken  notice  of;  for  King 
Henry  was  so  unreasonably  prejudiced  in  favour  of  the 
Normans,  that  whatever  misdemeanor,  be  it  of  never  so 
high  a  nature,  was  by  them  committed,  it  was  presently 
winked  at  and  let  pass  without  notice;  whereas,  if  the 
Welsh  trespassed  but  against  the  least  injunction  of  the 
king's  laws,  they  were  most  severely  punished,  which  was 
the  cause  that  they  afterwards  stood  up  against  the  king  in 
their  own  defence,  being  by  experience  assured  that  he 
intended,  if  possible,  their  utter  destruction. 

About  this  time  Anselm,  archbishop  of  Canterbury,  con- 
vened a  synod  at  London,  wherein,  among  other  injunctions 
then  decreed,  the  celibacy  of  the  clergy  was  enjoined ;  mar- 
riage being  at  all  times  previously  allowed  in  Britain  to 
those  in  holy  orders.  This  new  injunction  created  a  great 
deal  of  heat  and  animosity  among  the  clergy,  some  approving 
of  it  as  reasonable  and  orthodox,  others  condemning  it  as 
an  innovation  and  contrary  to  the  plain  letter  of  scripture. 
During  these  disputes  between  the  clergy,  King  Henry, 
being  now  in  the  fifth  year  of  his  reign,  sailed  over  with  a 
great  army  into  Normandy,  where  his  brother  Robert,  to- 
gether with  Robert  de  Belesmo,  Arnulph,  and  William 
Earl  of  Mortaign,  gave  him  battle ;  but  the  king  having 
obtained  the  victory,  took  the  duke  his  brother,  with 
William  of  Mortaign,  prisoners,  and  carrying  them  into 
England,  he  caused  first  his  brother  Robert's  eyes  to  be 
plucked  out,  and  then  condemned  them  both  to  perpetual 
imprisonment  in  the  castle  of  CardyfF.  About  the  same  A,  D.  1104. 
time,  Meyric  and  GrufFydh,  the  sons  of  Trahaern  ap 
Caradoc,  were  both  slain  by  the  means  of  Owen  ap  Cadogan 
ap  Blethyn,  whose  uncle  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  who  had 
been  prisoner  for  a  long  time  in  England,  now  broke  open 
the  prison,  wherein  he  was  very  narrowly  confined,  and 
returning  to  his  own  country,  had  his  estate  restored,  which 
afterwards  he  quietly  enjoyed. 



A.  D.l  105.  The  next  year  a  very  dismal  and  calamitous  accident 
happening  in  the  Low  Countries,  proved  very  incommodious 
and  prejudicial  to  the  Welsh ;  for  a  great  part  of  Flanders 
being  drowned  by  the  overflowing  of  the  sea,  the  inhabit- 
ants were  compelled  to  seek  for  some  other  country  to 
dwell  in,  their  own  being  now  covered  with  water;  and 
therefore  a  great  many  being  come  over  to  England,  they 
requested  King  Henry  to  assign  them  some  part  of  his 
kingdom  which  was  waste  and  void  of  inhabitants,  where 
they  might  settle  and  plant  themselves.  The  king  taking 
advantage  of  this  charitable  opportunity,  and  being  in  a 
manner  assured  that  these  Flemings  would  be  a  considerable 
thorn  in  the  side  of  the  Welsh,  bestowed  upon  them  very 
liberally  what  was  not  justly  in  his  power  to  give,  and 
appointed  them  the  country  of  Rhos,  in  Dyfed  or  West 
Wales,  where  they  continue  to  this  day:  but  Gerald,  the 
king's  lieutenant  in  those  parts,  was  resolved  to  be  afore- 
hand  with  them,  and  rebuilt  the  castle  of  Pembroke,  in  a 
place  called  Congarth  Fechan;  whither  he  removed  his 
1106.  family  and  all  his  goods.  Here  a  very  unfortunate  accident 
happened  to  him ;  for  Cadwgan  ap  Blethyn  having  prepared 
a  sumptuous  feast  in  the  Christmas,  invited  all  the  lords  to 
his  country  house  in  Dyfed,  and  among  the  rest  his  son 
Owen,  who  lived  in  Powys.  This  youug  gentleman  being 
at  his  father's  house,  and  hearing  Nest  the  wife  of  Gerald 
universally  praised  for  her  incomparable  beauty,  was  so 
smitten  with  the  rumour  that  went  abroad  of  her,  that  by  all 
means  he  must  see  the  lady  who  was  by  all  so  much  ad- 
mired:* and  forasmuch  as  Gwladys,  wife  to  Rhys  ap 
Theodore,  and  mother  to  Nest,  was  the  daughter  of  Ry wal- 
hon  ap  Confyn,  cousin-german  to  Cadwgan  his  father, 
under  pretence  of  friendship  and  relation  he  made  bold 
to  pay  her  a  visit.  Finding  the  truth  far  to  surpass  the 
fame  that  went  of  her,  he  returned  home  so  inflamed  with 
her  charms,  that,  not  being  able  to  keep  the  mastery  over 
himself,  he  went  back  again  the  same  night,  and  being  at- 
tended by  a  company  of  wild,  head -strong  youths,  they 
privily  entered  the  castle,  and  encompassing  the  chamber 
where  Gerald  and  his  wife  lay,  they  set  the  house  on  fire. 
Gerald  hearing  a  noise,  would  fain  go  out  to  know  the 
meaning  of  such  unseasonable  disturbance;  but  his  wife, 


*  Nest  was  the  sister  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  had  been  the  mistress  of  Henry  the  First, 
and  brought  him  his  son,  Robert  of  Gloucester,  who  was  very  eminent  as  a  soldier,  a 
statesman,  and  scholar.  He  was  the  instrument  of  restoring  his  nephew,  Henry,  to  the 
throne  of  England,  although  that  event  took  place  after  Gloucester's  death.  Geoffrey 
of  Monmouth  dedicates  to  him  his  latin  translation  of  Tysilio.  Robert  was  a  friend 
of  learning  and  learned  men  in  that  early  age  of  English  literature  :  William  of  Malmes- 
bury,  the  poet  and  historian,  was  patronised  by  him. 


fearing  some  treachery,  persuaded  him  to  make  as  private 
an  escape  as  he  could,  and  then,  pulling  up  a  board  in  the 
privy,  let  him  go  that  way ;  then  returning  to  her  chamber, 
she  assured  those  audacious  youths  that  there  was  no  body 
besides  herself  and  children  there;    but  this  not    being 
satisfactory,  they  forcibly  broke  in,  and  having  searched 
every  the  most  private  corner  and  not  finding  Gerald,  they 
took  his  wife  and  two  sons,  with  a  son  and  a  daughter  born 
by  a  concubine,  and  carried  them  away  to  Powys,  having 
first  set  fire  to  the  castle,  and  destroyed  the  country  as  they 
went  along.     Cadwgan,  Owen's  father,  hearing  of  the  out- 
rageous crime  his   son  had  committed,  was  exceedingly 
concerned  and  sorry,  and  chiefly  because  hereby  he  was 
likely  to  incur  King  Henry's  great  displeasure ;  and  there- 
fore he  went  with  all  speed  to  Powys,  and  intreated  his  son 
to  send  home  to  Gerald  his  wife  and  children,  with  what- 
ever else  he  had  taken  away  from  him :  but  Owen  was  so 
amorously  inexorable  with  respect  to  the  woman,  that  he 
would  by  no  means  part  with  her;    however,   upon  her 
request,  he  was  willing  to  restore  Gerald  his  children  again, 
which  forthwith  he  performed.*     When  Richard,  Bishop  of 
London,   whom  King  Henry  had  constituted  Warden  of 
the  Marches,  and  who  was  now  at  Shrewsbury,  heard  of 
this,  he  sent  for  Ithel  and  Madoc,  the  sons  of  Ryryd  ap 
Blethyn,  persons  of  great  power  and  interest  in  Wales, 
promising  them  very  considerable  rewards,    besides    the 
government  of  the  whole  country,  in  case  they  could  bring 
Owen  and  his  father  Cadwgan,  either  dead  or  alive,  to  him, 
that  he  might  revenge  that  heinous  affront  which  they  had 
done  to  the  King  of  England.     With  them  he  joined  Lhy- 
warch  the  son  of  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc,  whose  two  brethren 
Owen  had  slain,  and  Uchtryd,  the  son  of  Edwyn ;   which 
four  undertook  to  answer  effectually  the  bishop's  proposal 
to  them :  but  when  they  had  united  their  forces,  and  began 
in  an  hostile  manner  to  destroy  the  country  as  they  passed 
along,  Uchtryd  sent  private  notice  before  him,  requiring  all 
who  were  any  way  desirous  of  their  own  safety  to  come  to 
him,  because  no  quarter  was  to  be  given  to  any  that  were 
found  in  the  country.     The  people  being  thus  so  oppor- 
tunely forewarned,  began  to  bethink  with  themselves  how 
they  might  best  avoid  so  imminent  a  danger,  and  thereupon 
some  fled  to  Arustly,  others  to  Melienyth,  some  to  Strad- 
tywy,  and  some  to  Dyfed ;  but  in  this  latter  place  they  met 
with  cold  welcome,  for  Gerald,  who  was  then  very  busy  in 
exercising  revenge  upon  that  country,  falling  in  among  them, 
put   off  a  considerable  number  of  them.      The  like  fate 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  164, 


befel  those  who  escaped  to  Arustly  and  Melienyth;  for 
Walter  Bishop  of  Hereford  having  raised  an  army  in  defence 
of  the  town  of  Caermyrdhyn,  before  he  could  come  thither, 
accidentally  met  with  these  straggling  fugitives,  and  know- 
ing to  what  country  they  belonged,  without  any  further 
ceremony,  he  fell  upon  them  and  put  most  of  them  to  the 
sword.  They  who  fled  to  Stradtywy  were  kindly  received 
by  Meredith  ap  Rytherch ;  and  such  as  resorted  to  Uchtryd 
were  as  kindly  entertained  by  him;  and  so  he  marched 
with  the  rest  of  his  confederates  to  Rydcors  castle,  it  being 
the  general  opinion  that  it  was  best  to  enter  the  country 
by  night,  and  to  take  Cadwgan  and  Owen  his  son  by 
surprise :  but  Uchtryd  reflecting  upon  the  difficulty  of  the 
country,  and  how  easily  they  might  be  entrapped  by  an 
ambuscade,  dissuaded  them  from  any  such  nocturnal  under- 
takings, and  told  them  that  it  was  far  more  advisable  to 
enter  the  country  in  good  order,  when  the  light  gave  the 
soldiers  opportunity  to  keep  and  observe  their  ranks. 
Whilst  they  were  thus  considering  of  the  most  effectual 
way  to  carry  on  their  purpose,  Owen  got  a  ship  at  Aber- 
dyfi,  bound  for  Ireland,  and  escaping  thither,  avoided  the 
narrow  search  that  was  the  following  day  made  for  them. 
When,  therefore,  father  nor  son  could  be  found,  all  the 
fault  was  laid  upon  Uchtryd,  who  had  dissuaded  them  from 
falling  upon  the  castle  unexpectedly;  and,  therefore,  all 
that  his  companions  could  do,  since  their  escape,  was  to 
burn  and  destroy  the  country,  which  they  did  effectually, 
excepting  the  two  sanctuaries  of  Lhanpadarn  and  Lhandewi 
Brefi ;  out  of  which,  however,  they  took  several  persons 
who  had  escaped  thither,  and  carried  them  away  prisoners 
to  their  several  countries :  but  Owen,  with  those  who  were 
accessary  to  the  burning  of  Rydcors  castle,  being  fled  to 
Ireland,  desired  the  favour  and  protection  of  King  Murcart, 
who  received  him  very  gladly,  upon  the  account  of  their 
former  acquaintance ;  for  Owen,  during  the  war  betwixt  the 
Earls  of  Arundel  and  Chester  and  the  Welsh,  had  fled  to 
King  Murcart,  and  brought  him  very  rich  presents  from 
Wales.  Cadwgan  all  this  while  lay  privately  in  Powys; 
but  thinking  it  impossible  to  continue  there  long  undis- 
covered, he  adjudged  it  his  wiser  way  to  send  to  King 
Henry,  and  to  declare  his  innocency  and  abhorrence  of  the 
crime  which  his  son  had  committed.  The  King  was  easily 
persuaded  that  the  old  man  was  guiltless  and  wholly  inno- 
cent of  his  son's  offence ;  and  therefore  he  gave  him  permis- 
sion to  remain  in  the  country,  and  to  enjoy  the  town  and 
lands  he  received  by  his  wife,  who  was  the  daughter  of  a 



Norman  lord,  called  Pygot  de  Say  :  but  his  lands  in  Powys 
were  otherwise  distributed;  for  his  nephews,  Madoc  and 
Ithel,  finding  what  circumstances  their  uncle  Cadwgan  lay 
under  upon  the  account  of  his  son  Owen,  divided  betwixt 
themselves  such  lands  as  he  and  his  son  possessed  in  Powys, 
though  afterwards  they  could  never  agree  about  the  equal  dis- 
tribution of  them.  To  counterbalance  this,  Cadwgan  made 
such  successful  application  to  the  King  of  England,  that, 
upon  paying  the  fine  of  £100,  he  had  a  grant  of  all  his  lands 
in  Cardigan,  and  a  power  to  recall  all  the  inhabitants  who 
had  fled  away  upon  the  publication  of  the  king's  late  order, 
that  no  Welshman  or  Norman  should  dwell  in  Cardigan. 
Upon  information  of  this  grant  to  Cadwgan,  several  of  them 
that  retired  to  Ireland  returned  again  privately  to  Wales, 
and  lurkingly  remained  with  their  friends ;  but  Owen  durst 
not  appear  in  Cardigan,  by  reason  that  his  father  had 
received  that  country  from  King  Henry,  upon  condition 
that  he  would  never  entertain  nor  receive  his  son,  nor  by 
any  means  succour  him  either  with  men  or  money.  Never- 
theless, Owen  came  to  Powys,  and  would  fain  be  reconciled 
to  the  king,  and  make  an  atonement  for  his  late  misde- 
meanor, but  he  could  find  nobody  that  would  venture  to 
speak  in  his  behalf,  nor  make  the  king  acquainted  with  his 
desire  and  willingness  to  submit :  and  thus  being  hopeless 
and  full  of  despair,  he  could  not  possibly  divine  which  way 
to  turn  himself,  till  at  last  a  very  unexpected  opportunity 
offered  him  means  and  occasion  to  oppose  the  English. 
The  matter  was  this,  there  happened  a  difference  betwixt 
•Madoc  ap  Ryryd*  and  the  Bishop  of  London,  Lieutenant  of 
the  Marches  of  Wales,  about  certain  English  felons  whom 
(being  under  the  protection  of  Madoc)  he  would  not  restore 
at  the  bishop's  request.  The  bishop  being  much  offended 
at  Madoc's  denial,  threatened  him  very  severely;  and 
therefore  to  make  all  possible  preparations  against  an 
ensuing  storm,  Madoc  sent  to  Owen,  who  heretofore  was 
his  greatest  enemy,  desiring  his  help  against  the  bishop ; 
and  by  this  means  being  reconciled,  they  took  their  mutual 
oaths  not  to  betray  each  other,  and  that  neither  should  make 
a  separate  agreement  with  the  English  without  the  know- 
ledge and  approbation  of  the  other;  and  so  uniting  their 
power,  they  spoiled  and  ravaged  all  the  country  about  them, 
destroying  whatever  they  could  meet  with  which  belonged 
to  those  they  had  no  kindness  or  affection  for,  without  the 
least  distinction  of  English  or  Welsh. 

lorwerth  ap  Blethyn  had  been  very  unjustly  detained  in  A.  D.  1107. 

*  Ap  Bleddyn  ap  Cyuvyn. 


prison  all  this  time ;  and  now  King  Henry  calling  to  mind 
what  hardship  he  laboured  under,  and  that  he  committed 
him  to  custody  without  any  reasonable  pretence,  sent  to 
know  of  him  what  he  was  willing  to  pay  for  his  liberty, 
lorwerth  being  now  almost  ready  to  sink  under  the  fatigue 
of  such  a  long  imprisonment,  was  glad  to  give  any  thing  he 
was  able  to  obtain  that  which  he  had  so  long  in  vain  hoped 
for ;  and  therefore  he  promised  either  £300  in  specie,  or  to 
the  value  of  it  in  cattle  and  horses,  for  the  payment  of 
which  lorwerth  and  Ithel,  the  sons  of  his  brother  Ryryd, 
were  delivered  for  pledges.*  Then  the  king  released  him 
out  of  prison,  and  restored  him  all  his  lands  which  were 
taken  from  him ;  and  of  the  due  for  his  liberty,  the  king 
bestowed  £10  upon  Henry,  Cadwgan's  son  by  the  daughter 
of  Pygot  de  Say,  the  Norman.  Owen  and  Madawc  all  this 
while  committed  all  the  waste  and  destruction  possible,  and 
cruelly  annoyed  both  the  English  and  Normans,  and  always 
withdrew  and  retired  to  lorwerth's  estate,  which  so  troubled 
him,  by  reason  of  the  king's  strict  orders  not  to  permit 
Owen  to  come  to  his  or  Cadwgan's  territories,  that  at  length 
he  sent  to  them  this  positive  and  peremptory  rebuke : — 
f '  Since  it  hath  pleased  God  to  place  us  in  the  midst  of  our 
enemies,  and  to  deliver  us  into  their  hands ;  and  hath  so 
far  weakened  us,  as  that  we  are  not  able  to  do  any  thing  of 
our  own  strength;  and  your  father  Cadwgan  and  myself 
are  particularly  commanded,  under  penalty  of  forfeiting 
our  lands  and  estates,  not  to  afford  you  any  succour  or 
refuge  during  these  your  rebellious  practices ;  therefore,  as 
a  friend  I  entreat  you,  command  you  as  a  lord,  and  desire 
you  as  a  kinsman,  that  you  come  no  more  to  mine  or  your 
father  Cadwgan's  territories." 

Owen  and  Madawc  receiving  such  a  peremptory  message, 
were  the  more  enraged,  and  by  way  of  malignant  retribution, 
did  more  frequently  than  heretofore  shelter  themselves  in 
lorwerth's  country ;  insomuch,  that  at  last,  since  that  they 
would  neither  by  threats  nor  intreaties  desist  from  their 
wonted  courses,  he  was  forced  to  gather  his  power  and 
drive  them  out  by  force  of  arms.  Being  chased  out  hence, 
they  made  inroads  into  Uchtryd's  country  in  Merioneth- 
shire ;  but  Uchtryd's  sons  being  then  in  Cyveilioc,  and 
hearing  of  it,  they  sent  to  the  people  of  the  country,  with 
positive  orders  to  oppose  and  resist  any  offer  they  might 
make  to  enter  the  country.  The  people,  though  wanting  a 
skilful  commander,  were  resolved  to  do  as  much  as  lay  in 
their  power ;  and  so  meeting  with  them  by  the  way,  they 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  165, 166,.  107,  168. 


set  upon  them  so  furiously,  that  Owen  and  Madawc,  after  a 
brave  defence,  were  forced  to  retreat  and  take  to  their 
heels;  Owen  fled  to  Cardigan  to  his  father  Cadwgan,  and 
Madawc  to  Powys.  Yet  all  these  misfortunes  could  not 
suppress  the  restless  spirit  of  Owen;  for  as  soon  as  he 
could  rally  together  his  scattered  troops,  he  made  divers 
inroads  into  Dyfed,  and  carrying  away  several  persons  to 
the  ships  that  he  had  brought  with  him  from  Ireland,  he 
first  took  a  ransom  of  them,  and  then  listing  them  under 
his  own  command,  made  such  addition  to  his  army,  that  he 
ventured  to  set  upon  a  town  in  Dyfed,  belonging  to  the 
Flemings,  and  having  rased  it  to  the  ground,  he  returned  to 
Cardigan,  having  no  regard  as  to  what  inconvenience  might 
befal  his  father  from  the  king  of  England  upon  this  account, 
which  a  little  afterwards  fell  out :  for  it  happened  that  some 
of  Owen's  men  having  had  intelligence,  that  a  certain  bishop 
called  William  de  Brabant  was  upon  his  journey  through 
that  country  to  the  court  of  England,  they  laid  wait  for  his 
coming,  who,  without  any  apprehension  of  treachery,  passing 
through  the  country,  was  unexpectedly  slain,  he  and  all  his 
retinue.*  lorwerth  and  Cadwgan  were  then  at  court  to 
speak  with  King  Henry  concerning  certain  business  of  their 
own  :f  but  whilst  they  discoursed  with  the  king,  in  came  a 
Fleming,  who  was  a  brother  to  the  deceased  bishop,  and 
with  a  very  loud  exclamation,  complained  how  that  Owen, 
Cadwgan's  son,  had  slain  his  brother  and  the  rest  of  his 
company;  and  that  he  was  succoured  and  entertained  in 
Cadwgan's  country.  King  Henry  hearing  this,  was  wrath- 
fully  displeased  at  such  outrageous  barbarity,  and  that  a 
person  of  such  quality  and  profession  should  be  so  treacher- 
ously murdered ;  and  therefore  he  asked  Cadwgan  what  he 
could  say  to  the  matter,  who  answered,  that  what  had  so 
unhappily  fell  out  was  done  without  the  least  knowledge  or 
approbation  on  his  part,  and  therefore  desired  his  Majesty 
to  impute  all  the  blame  and  guilt  of  that  unfortunate  trans- 
action to  his  son  Owen.  King  Henry  was  so  far  from  being 
satisfied  with  this  reply,  that  he  told  Cadwgan  in  a  violent 
passion,  that  since  he  could  not  prevent  his  son  being  aided 
and  entertained  in  his  country,  he  would  bestow  it  upon 
another  person,  who  was  better  able  and  more  willing  to 
keep  him  out;  and  would  allow  him  a  maintenance  upon 
his  own  proper  charges,  upon  these  conditions,  that  he 
•should  not  enter  Wales  any  more  without  his  further  orders ; 
and  so  granting  him  twenty  days  for  the  ordering  his  affairs, 
he  gave  him  liberty  to  retire  to  any  part  of  his  dominions 

*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  166, 167, 168.  t  IbicL 


except  Wales.     When  Owen   and  Madawc  were  informed 
how  Cadwgan  was  treated  by  the  king  of  England,  and  that 
Cardigan,   which  was   their  chief  place  of  refuge,  was  to 
be  given  to  another  person,  they  thought  that  their  condi- 
tion by  this  time  was  desperate,  and  that  they  had  better 
not  stay  any  longer   in  Britain;    and  therefore  with    all 
speed  they  took  shipping  for  Ireland,  where  they  were  sure 
to  be  honourably  entertained  by  King  Murkart.      Then 
King  Henry  sent  for  Gilbert  Strongbow  Earl  of  Strygill,  a 
person  of  noted  worth  and  valour,  and  one  who  had  often 
sued  to  the  king  to  grant  him  some  lands  in  Wales,  and 
bestowed  upon  him  all  the  lands  and  inheritance  of  Cadwgan 
ap  Blethyn,  in  case  he  could  conquer  and  bring  the  country 
under.     Gilbert  very  thankfully  accepted  the  proposal,  and 
having  drawn  together  all  the  forces  he  was  able  to  raise, 
he  passed  to  Wales,  and  being  come  to  Cardigan  without 
the  least  trouble  or  opposition,  he  reduced  the  whole  coun- 
try to  his  subjection.     The  first  thing  he  did  was  the  best 
he  could  to  secure  himself  in  this  new  purchased  inherit- 
ance ;  in  order  to  which  he  erected  two  castles,  one  upon 
the  frontiers  of  North  Wales,  upon  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Ystwyth,  a  mile  distant  from  Llanbadarn;   the  other  to- 
wards Dyfed,    upon    the  river  Teifi,    at  a  place  called 
Dyngeraint,  where,  as  some  think,  Roger  Montgomery  had 
some  time  before  laid  the  foundation  of  Cilgarran  castle.* 

Owen  and  Madawc  were  all  this  while  in  Ireland ;  but 
the  latter  being  at  length  tired  of  the  country,  and  not 
willing  to  endure  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  Irish, 
came  over  to  Wales,  and  passed  to  the  country  of  his  uncle 
lorwerth.  lorwerth  being  acquainted  with  his  arrival,  was 
fearful  lest  he  should  suffer  the  same  fate  as  his  brother 
Cadwgan,  if  he  permitted  his  being  there ;  and,  therefore, 
without  any  regard  to  relation  or  consanguinity,  he  pre- 
sently issued  a  proclamation,  forbidding  any  of  his  subjects, 
under  a  great  penalty,  to  receive  him,  but  that  they  should 
account  him  an  open  enemy  to  their  country,  and  endeavour 
all  they  could  to  secure  Madawc  and  to  bring  him  prisoner 
before  him.  When  Madawc  understood  this,  and  that  his 
person  was  in  continual  danger  whilst  he  remained  there, 
having  drawn  to  him  all  the  outlaws  and  villains  in  the 
country,  he  kept  in  the  rocks  and  mountains,  devising  all 
the  ways  and  means  he  could  to  be  revenged  upon  lorwerth ; 
and  so  made  a  private  league  and  agreement  with  Lhywarch 
ap  Trahaern,  who  for  a  long  time  had  been  a  mortal  enemy 
of  lorwerth.  These  two  associates,  having  intelligence 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  169. 


that  lorwerth  lay  one  night  at  Caereineon,*  gathered  all 
their  strength,  and  came  and  encompassed  the  house  at 
midnight,  which  when  lorwerth's  servants  perceived,  they 
arose  and  defended  the  house  with  all  the  might  they 
could ;  but  the  assailants  at  last  putting  the  house  on  fire, 
they  were  glad,  as  many  as  could,  to  escape  through  the 
flames,  the  greatest  part  being  forced  to  yield,  either  to  the 
enemy's  sword  or  the  more  conquering  fire.  lorwerth  seeing 
no  remedy,  but  that  he  must  undergo  the  same  fate  as  his 
men  had  done,  chose  rather  to  die  in  the  presence  of  his 
enemies  with  his  sword  in  his  hand,  than  cowardly  to  com- 
mit his  life  to  the  flames ;  and  therefore  rushing  out  with 
great  violence,  he  was  received  upon  the  points  of  the 
enemies'  spears,  and  being  by  them  tossed  into  the  flames, 
he  miserably  perished  by  a  double  death.  As  soon  as  King 
Henry  heard  of  his  death,  he  sent  for  Cadwgan  to  him,  and 
gave  him  all  his  brother's  estate,  being  Powys-land;  and 
promising  his  son  Owen  his  pardon,  upon  condition  that  he 
would  demean  himself  quiety  and  loyally  hereafter,  willed 
him  to  send  for  him  back  from  Ireland,  f  King  Henry  also 
about  this  time  married  his  natural  son  Robert  to  Mabil, 
daughter  and  sole  heir  to  Robert  Fitz-hamon,  Lord  of  Gla- 
morgan, in  whose  right  this  Robert  became  Lord  of  Glamor- 
gan, being  before  by  the  king  created  Earl  of  Gloucester, 
by  whom  the  castle  of  Cardiff  was  built. 

But  Madawc  finding  the  matter  nothing  mended,  and  that 
his  other  uncle  Cadwgan,  who  lay  under  the  same  obliga- 
tion to  the  King  of  England,  ruled  the  country,  hid  himself 
in  the  most  private  and  inaccessible  places,  watching  only  an 
opportunity  to  commit  the  like  crime  upon  Cadwgan,  and 
to  murder  him  by  one  treacherous  way  or  another.  And 
this  he  effected  in  a  little  time ;  for  Cadwgan  having  reduced 
the  country  to  some  sort  of  settlement  and  quietness,  and 
restored  the  courts  of  judicature,  where  he  sat  in  person  to 
administer  justice,  came  with  the  rest  of  the  elders  of  the 
country  to  Trallwng,  now  Pool,J  and  having  begun  to  A.  D.  1109. 
build  a  castle,  he  thought  to  make  that  the  constant  seat 
of  his  habitation.  Madawc  understanding  his  design,  laid 
in  ambush  for  him  in  his  way  to  Trallwng,  and  as  Cadwgan 
unconcernedly  passed  by  without  the  least  suspicion  of 
treachery,  he  suddenly  set  upon  him,  and  slew  him,  without 


*  Castle  Caereinion.  f  Welsh  Chron.  170, 171. 

I  Welsh  Pool,  in  Montgomeryshire. 


allowing  him  any  time  either  to  fight  or  escape.*     Then  he 
sent  presently  a  message  to  Shrewsbury,  to  the  Bishop  of 
London,  the  king's  lieutenant  in  the  marches,  to  put  him  in 
mind  of  his  former  promises  to  him,  when  he  chased  Owen 
out  of  the  country ;    because  that  the  bishop,  bearing  an 
inveterate   enmity   towards  Cadwgan  and  his   son   Owen, 
granted  Madawc  such  lands  as  his  brother  Ithel  was  pos- 
sessed of.     But  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  being  informed  of  the 
death  of  both  his  brothers,  went  in  all  haste  to  the  king, 
desiring  of  him  the  lands  of  lorwerth  in  Powys,  which  he 
had  lately   bestowed    upon   Cadwgan;     which    the    king 
granted  him,  until  such  time  as  Owen  should  return  from 
Ireland.     Owen  was  not  long  before  he  came  over,  and  then 
going  to  King  Henry,  he  was  honourably  received,  and  had 
all  his  father's  estate  restored  to  him ;  whereupon,  in  grati- 
tude for  this  signal  favour,  he  voluntarily  promised  to  pay 
the  king  a  considerable  fine,f  for  the  due  payment  of  which 
he  gave  very  responsible  pledges.     Madawc,  finding  himself 
left  alone  in  the  lurch,  and  that  he  had  no  seeming  power  to 
bear  head  against  the  king,  thought  it  also  his  wisest  way  to 
make  what  reconciliation  he  could ;  and  therefore  he  offered 
the  king  a  very  great  fine  if  he  should  peaceably  enjoy  his 
former  estate,  promising  withal  never  to  molest  or  disturb 
any  one  that  was  subject  to  the  crown  of  England.     King 
Henry,  willing  to  bring  all  matters  to  a  settled  condition, 
readily  granted  his  request,  and  conferred  upon  him  all  he 
could  reasonably  ask  for ;  only  with  this  proviso,  that,  upon 
his  peril,  he  should  provide  for  the  relations  of  those  whom 
he  had  so  basely  murdered. 

A.  D.  1109.  And  thus  all  matters  being  brought  to  a  peaceable  con- 
clusion in  Wales,  the  next  year  Robert  de  Belesmo,  who 
had  been  one  of  the  chief  instruments  in  these  Welsh 
disturbances,  in  that  great  rebellion  which  himself,  with 
Roger  de  Montgomery  Earl  of  Salop,  and  his  brother, 
Arnulph  Earl  of  Pembroke,  had  raised  against  the  king, 
was  taken  prisoner  by  King  Henry  in  Normandy,  and 
committed  to  perpetual  imprisonment  in  Warham  Castle. 
1110.  The  year  following,  Meredith  ap  Blethyn  detached  a  consi- 
derable party  of  his  men  to  make  incursions  into  the  country 
of  Lhy warch  ap  Trahaern  ap  Gwyn,  who  was  an  inveterate 
enemy  of  himself  and  Owen ;  because  by  his  aid  and  insti- 
gation Madawc  was  encouraged  to  kill  his  uncles  lorwerth 


*  Thus  died,  after  a  variety  of  misfortunes,  Cadwgan,  the  son  of  Bleddyn  ap  Cynvyn, 
dignified  by  Camden  with  the  title  of  the  renowned  Briton  ;  a  prince  whose  valour,  sense 
of  justice,  and  other  milder  virtues,  might,  in  any  age  but  this,  have  exempted  him  from 
?v  death  so  cruel  and  so  unworthy  of  his  character. 

f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  170,171. 


and  Cadwgan.  These  men,  as  they  passed  through  Ma- 
dawc's  country,  met  a  person  in  the  night-time  who  belonged 
to  Madawc,  who  being  asked  where  his  master  was,  after 
some  pretence  of  ignorance,  at  last  through  fear  confessed 
that  he  was  not  far  from  that  place  ;  therefore,  lying  quietly 
there  all  night,  by  break  of  day  they  arose  to  look  out  their 
game ;  and  unexpectedly  surprising  Madawc,  they  slew  a 
great  number  of  his  men,  and  took  himself  prisoner  ;  and  so 
carrying  him  to  their  Lord,  they  delivered  him  up,  as  the 
greatest  honour  of  their  expedition.  Meredith  was  not  a 
little  proud  of  his  prisoner,  and  therefore,  to  ingratiate 
himself  the  more  with  his  nephew  Owen,  he  committed 
him  to  safe  custody,  till  he  was  sent  for  ;  who  coming 
thither  immediately,  Meredith  delivered  Madawc  up  to 
him.  Owen,  though  he  had  the  greatest  reason  for  the 
most  cruel  revenge,  because  both  his  father  and  uncle  were 
basely  murdered  by  this  Madawc,  would  not  put  him  to 
death,  remembering  the  intimate  friendship  and  oaths  which 
had  passed  betwixt  them ;  but  to  prevent  him  from  doing 
any  future  mischief,  he  pulled  out  his  eyes,  and  then  set  him 
at  liberty.*  Lest,  however,  he  should  be  capable  of  any 
revenge  by  reason  of  his  estate  and  strength  in  the  country, 
Meredith  and  Owen  thought  fit  to  divide  his  lands  betwixt 
them;  which  were  Carnarvon,  Aber-rhiw,  with  the  third 
part  of  Deuthwfyr. 

These  home-bred  disturbances  being  pretty  well  abated,  A.D.  nil. 
a  greater  storm  arose  from  abroad ;  for  the  next  year  King 
Henry  prepared  a  mighty  army  to  enter  into  Wales,  being 
provoked  thereto  by  the  request  of  those  who  enjoyed  a 

treat  part  of  the  Welshmen's  lands,  but  would  not  be  satis- 
ed  till  they  got  all.  For  Gilbert  Strongbow,  Earl  of 
Strygill,  upon  whom  the  king  had  bestowed  Cardigan, 
made  great  complaints  of  Owen  ap  Cadwgan,  declaring  that 
he  received  and  entertained  such  persons  as  spoiled  and 
robbed  in  his  country,  and  Hugh  Earl  of  Chester  made  the 
like  of  Gruflfydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  that  his 
subjects  and  the  men  of  Grono  ap  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  Lord 
of  Tegengl,  unreproved,  wasted  and  burnt  the  country  of 
Cheshire ;  and  to  aggravate  the  matter,  he  added  further, 
that  Gruffydh  neither  did  any  service,  nor  paid  any  tribute 
to  the  king.  Upon  these  complaints,  King  Henry  was  so 
much  enraged  that  he  swore  he  would  not  leave  one  living 
creature  remaining  in  North  Wales  and  Powys-land,  but 
that  he  would  utterly  extirpate  the  present  race  of  people, 

K  2  and 

*  Welsh  Chron.  172. — Incidents  like  these,  arising  from  the  collision  of  contending 
•parties,  present,  in  sanguinary  tints,  a  lively  picture  of  barbarism. 


and  would  plant  a  colony  of  new  inhabitants.  Then,  divid- 
ing his  army  into  three  parts,  he  delivered  one  to  the  conduct 
of  the  Earl  of  Strygill,  to  go  against  South  Wales,  which 
comprehended  the  whole  power  of  the  fourth  part  of  Eng- 
land and  Cornwall ;  the  next  division  was  designed  against 
North  Wales,  in  which  was  all  the  strength  of  Scotland  and 
the  North,  and  was  commanded  by  Alexander  King  of  the 
Scots  and  Hugh  Earl  of  Chester ;  the  third  the  king  led 
himself  against  Powys,  and  in  this  was  contained  the  whole 
strength  of  the  middle  part  of  England.  Meredith  ap 
Blethyn  hearing  of  these  mighty  preparations,  and  being 
informed  that  this  vast  army  was  designed  against  Wales, 
was  apprehensive  that  the  Welsh  were  not  able  to  make  any 
great  defence,  and  therefore  thought  it  his  safest  way  to 
provide  for  himself  beforehand,  and  so  coming  to  the  king, 
yielded  himself  up  to  his  mercy.  But  Owen,  fearing  to 
commit  himself  to  those  whom  he  knew  so  greedily  coveted 
his  estate,  and  whom  he  was  assured  were  far  more  desirous 
to  dispossess  the  Welsh  of  their  lands  than  in  any  other  way 
to  punish  them  for  former  crimes  and  miscarriages,  fled  to 
Gruffydh  ap  Conan  in  North  Wales.  Upon  that  King 
Henry  converted  his  whole  force  that  way,  and  came  himself 
as  far  as  Murcastelh,  and  the  Scotch  king  to  Pennant 
Bachwy,  but  the  people  flying  to  the  mountains  carried 
with  them  all  the  cattle  and  provision  they  had,  so  that  the 
English  could  not  follow  them,  and  as  many  as  attempted  to 
come  at  them  were  either  slain  or  wounded  in  the  streights. 
Alexander  King  of  the  Scots  finding  that  nothing  could 
possibly  be  effected  against  the  Welsh  as  long  as  they  kept 
to  the  rocks  and  mountains,  sent  to  Prince  Gruffydh,  ad- 
vising him  to  submit  himself  to  the  king,  promising  him  all 
his  interest  to  obtain  an  honourable  peace :  but  the  prince 
was  too  well  acquainted  with  English  promises,  and  there- 
fore refused  his  proposals ;  and  so  King  Henry,  being  very 
unwilling  to  return  without  doing  something  in  this  expe- 
dition, sent  to  Owen  to  forsake  the  prince,  who  was  not 
able  to  defend  himself,  but  was  ready  to  strike  a  peace 
with  the  Scottish  king  and  the  Earl  of  Chester.  This 
cunning  insinuation,  however,  did  not  take  effect,  for  Owen 
was  as  distrustful  of  King  Henry  as  Prince  GrufFydh,  and 
therefore  he  would  hearken  to  no  intreaties  to  revolt  from 
him  who  had  so  long  afforded  him  refuge ;  till  at  length  his 
uncle  Meredith,  an  old  insinuating  politician,  persuaded 
him,  with  much  ado,  not  to  neglect  the  king  of  England's 
proposals,  who  offered  him  all  his  lands  without  tribute,  in 
case  he  would  come  to  his  side ;  and  Meredith  advised  him 



instantly  to  accept  of  his  offer,  before  Prince  Gruffydh  made 
a  peace  with  the  king,  which  if  it  was  once  done,  he  would 
be   glad  upon   any  score  to  purchase   the   king's  mercy. 
Owen  being  prevailed  upon  by  such  arguments,  came  to  the 
king,  who  received  him  very  graciously,  and  told  him,  that 
because  he  believed  his  promise,  he  would  not  only  perform 
that,  but  likewise  exalt  him  above  any  of  his  kindred,  and 
grant  him  his  lands  free  from  any   payment  of   tribute. 
Prince  Gruffydh  perceiving  that  Owen   submitted  to  the 
king,  thought  it  also  his  wisest  way  to  sue  for  peace ;  and  so 
promising  the  king  a  great  sum  of  money,  a  peace  was  then 
actually  agreed  upon  and  confirmed,  which  the  king  of  Eng- 
land was  the  more  ready  to  consent  to,  because  he  found  it 
impossible  to  do  him  any  hurt  whilst  he  continued  encamped 
in  that  place.      Some  affirm  that  the  submission,  as  well  of 
Prince  Gruffydh  as  of  Owen,  was  procured  by  the  policy  of 
Meredith  ap  Blethyn  and  the  Earl  of  Chester;   this  last 
working  with  Gruffydh,  and  assuring  him  that  Owen  had 
made  his  peace  with  the  king  before  any  such  thing  was  in 
agitation,  so  that  the  prince  yielding  somewhat  to  the  earl's 
request,  if  Owen  had  gone  contrary  to  the  oath  which  they 
had  mutually  taken,  not  to  make  any  peace  with  the  English 
without  one  another's  knowledge,  seemed  to  incline  to  a 
peace.     On  the  other  hand,  Meredith  going  to  his  nephew 
Owen,  affirmed  for  truth  that  the  prince  and  the  Earl  of 
Chester  were   actually  agreed,  and  the  prince  was  on  his 
journey  to  the  king  to  make  his  submission.     In  the  mean- 
while Meredith   took    especial  care    that    all   messengers 
betwixt  the  prince  and  Owen  should  be  intercepted,  and  by 
that  means  Owen  submitted  himself  to  the  king. 

King  Henry  having  thus  completed  all  his  business  in 
Wales,  called  Owen  to  him,  and  told  him  that  in  case  he 
would  go  over  with  him  to  Normandy,  and  there  be  faithful 
to  him,  he  would  upon  his  return  confirm  all  his  promises 
upon  him.  Owen  accepted  the  king's  offer,  and  went  with 
him  to  Normandy,  where  he  behaved  himself  so  gallantly, 
that  he  was  made  a  knight ;  and  after  his  return  the  year 
following,  he  had  all  his  lands  and  estate  confirmed  unto 
him.  About  the  same  time  Griffri  bishop  of  St.  David's  A.  D.  11 12. 
died,  and  King  Henry  appointed  to  succeed  him  one  Bar- 
nard a  Norman,  much  against  the  good-will  and  inclination 
of  the  Welsh,  who  before  this  time  were  ever  used  to  elect 
their  own  bishop.  This  year  the  rumour  of  Gruffydh,  son 
to  Rhys  ap  Theodore,  was  spread  throughout  South  Wales, 
who,  as  the  report  went,  for  fear  of  the  king,  had  been  from 
a  child  brought  up  in  Ireland,  and  having  come  over  about 



two  years  before,  passed  his  time  privately  among  his  re- 
lations, particularly  with  Gerald,  Steward  of  Pembroke,  his 
brother-in-law.     The  noise  of  a  new  prince  being  spread 
abroad,  it  came  at  last  to  the  ears  of  the  King  of  England, 
that  a  certain  person  had  appeared  in  Wales,  who  pretended 
to  be  the  son  of  Rhys  ap  Theodore,  late  Prince  of  South 
Wales,  and  laid  claim  to  that  principality,  which  was  now  in 
the  king's  hands.     King  Henry  being  somewhat  concerned 
with  such  a  report,  and  fearing  lest  this  new  rival  should 
create  him  some  greater  trouble,  he  thought  to  nip  him  in 
the  bud,  and  sent  down  orders  to  apprehend  him :    but 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  being  aware  of  the  traps  laid  against  him, 
sent  to  Gruffydh  ap  Gonan,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  desiring 
his  assistance,  and  that  he  might  have  liberty  to  remain  safe 
in  his  country,   which  Gruffydh,  for  his  father's  account, 
readily  granted,  and  treated  him  honourably.     A  little  after, 
his  brother  Howel,  who  was  imprisoned  by  Arnulph  Earl 
of  Pembroke  in  the  castle  of  Montgomery,  where  he  had 
remained  for  a  long  time,  made  his  escape  and  fled  to  his 
brother,  then  with  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  in  North  Wales  ; 
but  King  Henry  being  informed  that  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  and 
his  brother  Howel  were  entertained  by  the  Prince  of  North 
Wales,  sent  very  smooth  letters  to  Gruffydh   ap  Conan, 
desiring  to  speak  with  him,  who  being  come,  he  received 
him  with  all  the  tokens   of   honour  and  friendship,  and 
bestowed  upon  him  very  rich  presents,  as  was  the  Norman 
policy,  who  usually  made  very  much  of  those  whom  they 
designed  afterwards  to  be  serviceable  to  them.     After  some 
general  discourse,  King  Henry  came  at  length  to  the  main 
point,  and  promised  the  prince  immense  sums  if  he  would 
send  Gruffydh   ap  Rhys  or  his  head  to  him,   which  the 
prince,  overcome  by  such  fair  words  and  large  promises, 
engaged  to  perform,   and  so  returned  joyfully  home,   big 
with  the  expectation  of  his  future  reward.*     Some  persons, 
however,  who  wished  better  to  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  and  his 
brother  Howel,  suspected  the  occasion  of  the  king's  message, 
and  therefore  they  advised  them  to  withdraw  themselves 
privately  for  some  time,  till  Prince  Gruffydh's  mind  should 
be  better  understood,  and  till  it  should  be  known  whether 
he  had  made  any  agreement  with  the  king  of  England  to 
betray  them  to  him.     As  soon  as  the  prince  was  returned  to 
his  palace  at  Aberffraw,  he  enquired  for  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys, 
and  learning  in  a  little  time  where  he  was,  he  sent  a  troop  of 
horse  to  recall  him  to  his  court,  but  Gruffydh  hearing  of 
their  approach,  with  all  speed  made  his  escape  to  the 

*  Welsh  Chron.  176. 


church  of  Aberdaron,  and  took  sanctuary  there.*  But  the 
Prince  was  so  determined  to  make  his  promise  good  to  the 
King  of  England,  that  without  any  respect  to  the  religious 
place  Gruffydd  ap  Rhys  had  escaped  to,  he  commanded  the 
same  messengers  to  return,  and  to  bring  him  away  by  force, 
which  the  clergy  of  the  country  unanimously  withstood, 
protesting  that  they  would  not  see  the  liberties  of  the  church 
in  the  least  infringed.  Whilst  the  clergy  and  the  prince's 
officers  were  thus  at  debate,  some  who  had  compassion  upon 
the  young  prince,  seeing  how  greedily  his  life  was  thirsted 
for,  conveyed  him  out  of  North  Wales  to  Straty wy  in  South 
Wales  ;  and  thus  being  delivered  from  the  treacherous  arid 
more  dishonourable  practices  of  the  Prince  of  North  Wales, 
he  was  forced  for  the  protection  of  his  own  life  to  bid  open 
defiance  to  the  King  of  England,  and  thereupon  having 
raised  all  the  forces  which  the  shortness  of  the  opportunity 
would  permit,  he  made  war  upon  the  Flemings  and  Nor- 

The  next  year  he  laid  siege  to  the  castle  which  stood  over  A.  D.  1113. 
against  Arberth,  and  winning  the  same,  levelled  it  with  the 
ground,  and  from  thence  marched  to  Lhanymdhyfry  castle, 
belonging  to  Richard  de  Pwns,  upon  whom  the  King  had 
bestowed  Cantref  Byehan,  but  the  garrison  commanded  by 
Meredith  ap  Rhytherch  ap  Caradoc  so  manfully  defended  it, 
that  Gruffydh  after  killing  only  some  few  of  the  besieged, 
and  burning  the  outworks,  was  forced  to  remove  with  no 
small  loss  of  his  own  men.  Finding  this  place  impregnable, 
he  came  before  Abertawy  castle,  which  was  built  by  Henry 
Beaumont,  Earl  of  Warwick,  but  this  proving  too  strong  to 
be  quickly  surrendered,  after  he  had  burnt  some  of  the  out- 
ward buildings,  he  returned  to  Stratywy,  burning  and 
destroying  all  the  country  as  he  went  along.  His  fame 
being  now  spread  abroad  throughout  .the  country,  all 
the  wild  and  head-strong  youths,  and  all  those  persons 
whose  fortunes  were  desperate,  resorted  unto  him  from  all 
parts,  by  which  means  his  forces  becoming  strong  and 
numerous,  he  made  inroads  into  Rhos  and  Dyfed,  spoiling 
and  destroying  the  country  before  him.  The  Normans  and 
Flemings  were  greatly  enraged  with  these  continual  depre- 
dations, but  how  to  remedy  this  mischief  was  not  easily 
determined;  after  along  consultation,  however,  they  thought 
it  the  best  way  to  call  together  such  Welsh  lords  .as  were 
friends  to  the  king  of  England,  as  Owen  ap  Rhytherch,  and 
Rhytherch  ap  Theodore,  with  his  sons  Meredith  and  Owen, 


*  A  privileged  place  in  the  present  county  of  Carnarvon.— Welsh  Chron-  176. 

f  Ibid. 


whose  mother  was  Heynyth  the  daughter  of  Blethyn  ap 
Confyn,  and  Owen  ap  Caradoc  the  son  of  Gwenlhian, 
another  daughter  of  Blethyn,  and  Meredith  ap  Rhytherch. 
These  declaring  their  loyalty  and  fidelity  to  King  Henry, 
were  desired  to  defend  the  king's  castle  of  Carmardhyn,  and 
that  by  turns;  Owen  ap  Caradoc  the  first  fortnight,  and 
then  by  succession  by  Rhytherch  ap  Theodore  and  Mere- 
dith ap  Rhytherch.  Owen  undertook  the  defence  of  Car- 
mardhyn  castle  for  the  time  required  of  him,  and  Blethyn  ap 
Cadifor  had  committed  to  him  the  government  of  Abercomyn 
or  Abercorran  castle,  which  appertained  to  Robert  Court- 
main  ;  but  for  all  these  preparations,  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  had 
a  wishful  eye  upon  Carmardhyn,  and  therefore  he  sent  out 
some  spies  to  learn  the  strength  and  condition  of  the  town, 
who  bringing  him  a  very  flattering  account,  he  marched  by 
night,  and  rushing  suddenly  into  the  town,  ordered  his  men 
to  make  a  great  shout,  thereby  to  strike  a  terror  into  those 
within.  Owen  ap  Caradoc  the  governor,  being  surprised  by 
such  an  unexpected  uproar,  made  all  possible  haste  to  the 
place  where  he  had  heard  the  shouting,  and  thinking  that 
his  men  were  at  his  heels,  fell  in  among  the  enemy;  but 
having  none  to  support  him,  his  men  being  all  fled,  he  was 
after  a  manful  defence  cut  in  pieces ;  and  so  the  town  being 
taken,  Gruffydh  burnt  every  thing  to  the  ground,  excepting 
the  castle,  which  was  also  much  defaced ;  and  then  return- 
ing with  a  great  deal  of  spoil  and  booty  to  his  usual  residence 
Stratywy,  his  forces  were  considerably  increased  by  the 
accession  of  many  young  men,  who  came  to  him  from  all 
quarters,  and  thought  that  fortune  so  prospered  his  arms, 
that  no  body  was  able  to  stand  before  him.  After  this  he 
marched  to  Gwyr,  but  William  de  Londres  thinking  it  im- 
possible to  contend  with  him,  forsook  the  castle  with  all  his 
men  in  all  haste,  so  that  when  Gruflfydh  was  come  thither, 
he  found  a  great  deal  of  cattle  and  spoil,  and  none  to  own 
them,  and  therefore  he  burnt  down  the  castle,  and  carried 
away  every  thing  of  value  in  the  country.  When  the  Car- 
diganshire men  heard  how  fortunately  he  succeeded  in  all 
his  attempts,  and  being  extremely  fearful  lest  his  next  ex- 
pedition should  be  against  them,  they  sent  to  him,  desiring 
him,  as  being  their  near  relation  and  countryman,  to  take 
upon  him  the  rule  and  government  over  them.  GrufFydh 
willingly  accepted  of  their  offer,  and  coming  thither,  wras 
joyfully  received  by  the  chief  men  in  the  country,  who  were 
Cadifor  ap  Grono,  Howel  ap  Dinerth,  and  Trahaern  ap 
Ithel,  which  three  persons  had  forsaken  Dyfed,  by  reason 
that  it  was  so  much  burdened  with  Normans,  Flemings,  and 



Englishmen.  Nor  was  Cardigan  free  from  strangers,  who 
pretended  to  rule  the  country,  but  the  people  bearing  in 
mind  the  continual  wrong  and  oppression  they  received  from 
them,  imbibed  an  inveterate  hatred  to  them,  and  were  very 
glad  to  be  delivered  from  their  insolent  and  imperious 
oppressors:  for  King  Henry,  either  by  force  and  banish- 
ment of  those  that  stood  up  for  their  liberty,  or  by  corrupt- 
ing those  that  were  wavering,  had  brought  all  that  country 
to  his  subjection,  and  bestowed  what  lands  he  thought  fit 
upon  his  English  or  Norman  favourites.  Notwithstanding 
the  strength  of  the  English  in  this  country,  Gruffydh  was 
not  in  the  least  cast  down,  but  boldly  coming  on  to  Cardigan 
Iscoed,  he  laid  siege  to  a  fort  that  Earl  Gilbert  and  the 
Flemings  had  built  at  a  place  called  Blaen  Forth  Gwythan. 
After  divers  assaults,  and  the  killing  of  several  of  the 
besieged,  with  the  loss  only  of  one  of  his  men,  Gruffydh 
took  the' place,  and  razing  it  to  the  ground,  brought  all  the 
country  thereabouts  to  subjection.  This  action  proved 
very  fatal  to  the  English  ;  for  immediately  upon  this,  they 
began  to  forsake  their  houses  and  habitations,  thinking  it 
dangerous  for  them  to  stay  any  longer  in  the  country  ;  and 
so  the  Welsh  burnt  or  otherwise  destroyed  as  far  as  Pen- 
wedic  all  the  houses  of  those  strangers  whom  Earl  Gilbert 
had  brought  with  him.  Then  Gruffydh  besieged  the  castle 
of  Stradpeithyll,  which  belonged  to  Ralph,  Earl  Gilbert's 
steward,  and  having  made  himself  master  of  it,  he  put  all 
the  garrison  to  the  sword.  Removing  from  thence,  he  en- 
camped at  Glasgryg,  a  mile  from  Lhanbadarn,  purposing  to 
besiege  Aberystwith  castle  next  morning,  but  for  want  of 
provision  necessary  for  his  army,  he  deemed  it  expedient  to 
take  some  cattle  which  grazed  within  the  limits  of  the  sanc- 
tuary.* Here  it  may  be  observed,  that  not  only  men 
enjoyed  the  privilege  of  these  sanctuaries,  but  also  cattle 
and  horses,  and  whatever  else  lived  within  the  liberties  of 
them.  The  day  following,  Gruffydh  marched  in  a  dis- 
orderly manner  towards  the  castle,  not  being  apprehensive 
of  any  material  opposition,  because  he  was  ignorant  of  the 
number  of  the  garrison ;  and  encamping  upon  an  opposite 
hill,  which  was  divided  from  the  castle  by  a  river,  with  a 
bridge  over  it,  he  called  a  council  to  determine  with  what 
engines  they  might  with  best  success  play  against  it,  and  so 
make  a  general  assault.  The  Normans  observing  their  dis-r 
order,  very  cunningly  sent  out  some  of  their  archers  to 
skirmish  with  them,  and  so  by  degrees  entice  them  to  the 
bridge,  where  some  of  the  best  armed  horsemen  were  ready 

*  Wekh  Chron.  p.  179. 


to  issue  out  upon  them.  The  Welsh  not  thinking  the  garri- 
son so  strong,  approached  near  the  bridge,  still  skirmishing 
with  the  Normans,  who  pretended  to  give  way ;  but  when 
they  came  very  near,  out  sallied  one  on  horseback,  who 
would  fain  pass  the  bridge;  but  being  received  upon  the 
points  of  their  spears,  he  began  to  flag,  and  as  he  en- 
deavoured to  return,  he  fell  off  his  horse,  and  so  the  Welsh 
pursued  him  over  the  bridge.  The  Englishmen  seeing  this, 
fled  towards  the  castle,  and  the  Welsh  with  all  speed  fol- 
lowed them  to  the  top  of  the  hill ;  but  whilst  they  thought 
that  the  day  was  their  own,  a  party  of  horse  which  lay  in 
ambuscade  under  the  hill  rose  up,  and  standing  betwixt  the 
Welsh  and  the  bridge,  prevented  any  succour  coming  to 
them ;  and  the  Welsh  being  thus  hemmed  in  betwixt  both 
parties,  the  former  recoiling  with  greater  strength,  were  so 
unmercifully  cut  off,  that  scarce  one  man  was  left  living. 
When  the  rest  of  the  Welsh  army,  that  staid  on  the  other 
side  of  the  river,  saw  what  number  the  garrison  contained, 
and  that  they  were  strong  beyond  their  expectation,  they 
presently  decamped,  and  with  all  speed  departed  out  of  the 

When  King  Henry  was  informed  of  all  the  mischief  and 
cruelties  that  Gruflfydh  ap  Rhys  had  committed  among  his 
subjects  in  Wales,  he  sent  for  Owen  ap  Cadwgan,  desiring 
him  and  Lhywarch  ap  Trahaern  to  use  all  effectual  methods 
to  take  or  kill  the  arch-rebel  Gruffydh,  promising  to  send 
his  son  Robert  immediately  with  an  army  to  Wales  for  that 
purpose.  Owen  being  very  proud  that  the  king  put  such 
confidence  in  him,  encouraged  his  men  to  be  now  as  in- 
dustrious to  merit  the  king's  favour,  as  they  had  been 
formerly  to  deserve  his  displeasure;  and  so  joining  his 
forces  with  Lhywarch,  they  both  marched  to  meet  Prince 
Robertf  at  Stratywy,  where  they  supposed  Gruffydh  ap 
Rhys  had  hid  himself  in  the  woods.  When  they  were  come 
to  the  frontiers  of  the  country,  they  made  a  vow,  that  they 
would  let  neither  man,  woman,  nor  child  escape  alive ; 
which  so  affrighted  the  people  of  the  country,  that  all  made 
what  haste  they  could  to  save  their  lives,  some  by  fleeing 
to  the  woods  and  mountains,  and  some  by  getting  into  the 
king's  castles,  from  whence  they  had  come  but  a  little 
before.  Then  Owen  and  Lhywarch  separated  with  distinct 
parties  to  scour  the  woods,  which  about  Stratywy  were  very 
thick  and  secluded.  Owen  having  entered  with  an  hundred 
men,  discovered  the  track  of  men  and  cattle,  and  followed 


*  Welsh  Chron.  180. 
t  Earl  of  Gloucester,  the  natural  son  of  Henry,  by  Nest,  his  late  concubine. 


their  footsteps  so  close,  that  within  a  little  while  he  overtook 
them ;  and  having  slain  a  great  many  of  them,  and  put  the 
rest  to  flight,  he  carried  away  all  their  cattle  back  to  his 

But  whilst  Owen  was  busy  in  searching  the  woods, 
Gerald,  Steward  of  Pembroke  Castle,  who  with  a  great 
number  of  Flemings  was  upon  his  march  to  join  the  king's 
son,  met  with  them  who  fled  from  Owen;  who  desiring 
help  of  Gerald,  declared  how  Owen  had  forcibly  drove 
them  out,  slain  a  great  many  of  their  companions,  and  spoiled 
them  of  all  their  goods.  Gerald  and  his  Flemings  under- 
standing that  Owen  was  so  nigh  with  such  a  small  number 
of  men,  thought  he  had  now  very  convenient  opportunity  to 
be  revenged  of  him  upon  the  account  of  his  wife;  and, 
therefore,  to  make  sure  work  with  him,  he  pursued  him 
close  into  the  woods.  Owen  being  forewarned  by  his  men 
that  a  great  number  followed  him,  and  advised  to  make  all 
speed  to  get  away,  was  deaf  to  all  such  counsels,  as  thinking 
that  they  of  whom  his  men  were  so  much  afraid  of,  were  the 
king's  friends,  and  therefore  their  integrity  need  not  be 
questioned,  since  they  had  all  respect  to  one  common  cause : 
but  he  found  that  a  private  quarrel  is  sometimes  more 
regarded  than  the  public  good ;  and,  therefore,  when 
Gerald  was  advanced  within  bowshot,  he  greeted  him  with  a 
volley  of  arrows,  to  shew  how  great  a  friend  he  was ;  but 
Owen,  though  persuaded  to  flee,  was  so  little  terrified  at 
such  an  unwelcome  salutation,  that,  notwithstanding  the 
enemy  were  seven  to  one,  yet  he  told  them,  that  they  were 
but  Flemings,  and  such  as  always  trembled  at  the  hearing 
of  his  name.  Then  falling  on  with  a  great  deal  of  courage, 
he  was  at  the  first  onset  struck  with  an  arrow  into  the  heart, 
of  which  wound  he  presently  died ;  which  when  his  men 
saw  they  all  fled,  and  brought  word  to  Lhywarch  and  the 
rest  of  their  fellows  of  what  had  happened ;  and  so  suspect- 
ing the  king's  army,  seeing  they  could  not  be  trusted  in 
their  service,  they  all  returned  to  their  respective  coun- 

Owen  being  in  this  manner  unhappily  slain,  his  brethren 
divided  his  lands  betwixt  them ;  excepting  Caereineon, 
which  properly  belonged  to  Madawc  ap  Ryryd  ap  Blethyn : 
and  which  he  had  forcibly  taken  away  from  his  uncle 
Meredith.  His  father  Cadwgan  had  several  children  by 
different  women ;  and,  besides  Owen,  he  had  issue  Madawc, 
by  Gwenlhian,  the  daughter  of  Gruflfydh  ap  Conan;  Eineon, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  182.— «  In  this  manner,"  says  Warrington,  «  died,  suitable  to  thf 
tenor  of  his  life,  this  bold  and  profligate  chieftain." 


by  Sanna,  the  daughter  of  Dyfnwal ;  Morgan,  by  Efelhiw 
or  Elhiw,  the  daughter  of  Cadifor  ap  Colhoyn,  Lord  of 
Dyfed ;  Henry  and  GrufFydh  were  by  the  daughter  of  the 
Lord  Pigot,  his  wedded  wife  ;  Meredith,  by  Euroron 
Hoodliw ;  and  Owen,  by  Inerth,  the  daughter  of  Edwyn. 
Some  time  afterwards,  Eineon  ap  Cadwgan  and  Gruffydh 
ap  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  besieged  the  castle  of  Cymmer,  in 
Merionethshire,  which  was  lately  built  by  Uchtryd  ap 
Edwyn;  for  Cadwgan  had  bestowed  upon  Uchtryd,  his 
cousin-german,  Merioneth  and  Cyfeilioc,  upon  condition, 
that  in  all  cases  he  should  appear  his  friend,  and  his  sons 
after  him  ;  contrary  to  which  promise  he  bore  no  manner  of 
regard  to  Cadwgan's  children  after  Owen's  death ;  but  to 
strengthen  himself  the  better,  he  erected  this  castle  of 
Cymmer,  which  very  much  displeased  many  of  Cadwgan's 
sons ;  and  therefore  Eineon  and  GrufFydh,  to  make  Uchtryd 
sensible  of  his  error  in  despising  them,  attacked  Cymmer 
Castle,  and  having  slain  divers  of  the  garrison,  the  rest 
surrendered  themselves ;  and  so  taking  the  possession  of  it, 
they  divided  the  country  betwixt  them:  Mowdhwy,  Cy- 
feilioc, and  half  Penlhyn  to  GrufFydh  ap  Meredith ;  and 
the  other  half  of  Penlhyn,  with  all  Merioneth,  to  Eineon. 

The  next  year  King  Henry  sailed  with  a  great  army  into 
Normandy,  against  the  French  king,  who  with  the  Earl  of 
Flanders  and  others  attempted  to  make  William,  the  son  of 
Robert  Curthoise,  Duke  of  Normandy  ;  but  at  the  ap- 
pearance of  the  King  of  England,  they  all  dispersed  and 
laid  aside  their  intended  design.  About  the  same  time 
Gilbert  Strongbow,  Earl  of  Strygill,  to  whom  King  Henry 
had  given  all  Cardigan,  departed  this  life,  after  being  long 
ill  of  a  consumption,  much  to  the  joy  and  satisfaction  of  the 
Welsh,  who  were  much  displeased  that  they  should  be 
deprived  of  their  own  natural  Lord  Cadwgan,  from  whom 
this  country  was  taken,  and  be  forced  to  serve  a  stranger, 
whose  kindness  they  had  no  reason  to  expect.  The  year 
A.  D.  1115.  following,  an  irreconcileable  quarrel  happened  betwixt 
Howel  ap  Ithel,  Lord  of  Ros  and  Ryfonioc,  now  Denbigh- 
land,  and  Riryd  and  Lhywarch  the  sons  of  Owen  ap 
Edwyn ;  and  when  they  could  not  otherwise  agree,  they 
broke  out  into  an  open  war.  Thereupon  Howel  sent  to 
Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  and  to  Eineon  and  Madawc, 
Cadwgan's  sons,  who  came  down  from  Merioneth  with  a 
party  of  four  hundred  well-disciplined  men,  and  encamped 
in  DyfFryn  Clwyd.  Riryd  and  Lhywarch,  on  the  other 
hand,  desired  the  assistance  of  their  cousins,  the  sons  of 
Uchtryd  ;  and  both  armies  meeting  in  the  Vale  of  Clwyd, 



they  attacked  each  other  with  much  spirit  and  alacrity,  and 
after  a  tedious  and  a  bloody  fight,  Lhywarch,  Owen  ap 
Edwyn's  son,  was  slain,  and  with  him  lorwerth,  the  son  of 
Nudh,  a  noble  and  a  valorous  person;  and  Riryd  was 
forced  to  make  his  escape  by  flight :  but  though  Howel 
obtained  the  victory,  yet  he  did  not  long  survive  his  fallen 
enemies;  for  having  received  a  desperate  wound  in  the 
action,  he  died  of  it  within  forty  days ;  and  then  Meredith 
ap  Blethyn,  and  the  sons  of  Cadwgan,  finding  it  dangerous 
to  stay  longer  there,  for  fear  of  some  French,  who  lay  gar- 
risoned in  Chester,  returned  home  with  all  speed. 

King  Henry  was  still  in  Normandy;  and  about  this  A.  D.  1116. 
time,  a  very  great  battle  was  fought  betwixt  him  and  the 
French  king,  who  was  completely  vanquished  and  over- 
thrown, and  had  a  great  number  of  his  nobles  taken 
prisoners :  but  as  King  Henry  returned  the  following  1117t 
year  for  England,  one  of  the  ships  happened,  by  the 
negligence  of  the  pilot,  to  be  cast  away,  wherein  perished 
the  king's  two  sons,  William,  who  was  legitimate  and  heir 
apparent  to  the  crown,  and  Richard,  his  base  son,  together 
with  his  daughter  and  niece,  and  several  others  of  his 
nobility,  to  the  number  in  all  of  one  hundred  and  fifty 
persons.  This  unparalleled  loss  of  so  many  kindred  and 
friends  did  not  perplex  his  mind  so  long,  but  that  within  a 
short  time,  he  began  to  solace  and  raise  his  drooping 
spirits  with  the  thoughts  of  a  new  wife ;  and,  having  mar- 
ried Adelice,  the  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Lovain,  he  ills. 
purposed  to  go  against  Wales ;  and  having  prepared  his 
forces,  he  led  them  in  person  to  Powys-land. 

When  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  and  Eineon,  Madawc,  and 
Morgan,  the  sons  of  Cadwgan,  and  lords  of  the  country, 
heard  of  it,  they  sent  to  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of 
North  Wales,  desiring  some  help  at  his  hands ;  who  flatly 
refused,  assuring  them,  that  because  he  was  at  peace  with 
the  King  of  England,  he  could  neither  with  honour  nor 
safety  send  them  any  succour,  nor  permit  them  to  come 
within  his  dominions.  The  lords  of  Powys  receiving  this 
unwelcome  answer,  and  having  no  hope  of  any  aid,  were 
resolved  to  defend  themselves  as  well  as  they  could  ;  and, 
therefore,  they  thought  the  most  effectual  means  to  annoy 
the  enemy,  and  to  keep  them  from  entering  into  the  country, 
was  to  watch  and  defend  the  straits  by  which  the  enemy 
must  of  necessity  pass.  Nor  were  they  wrong  in  their 
policy ;  for  it  happened  that  the  king  himself,  with  a  small 
number,  advanced  to  one  of  these  narrow  passages,  the  rest 
of  the  army,  by  reason  of  their  carriages  having  taken  some 



compass  about ;  which  the  Welsh  perceiving,  presently 
poured  a  shower  of  arrows  upon  them,  and  the  advantage  of 
the  ground  giving  help  to  their  execution,  they  slew  and 
wounded  a  great  many  of  the  English.  The  king  himself 
was  struck  in  the  breast,  but  the  arrow  did  not  hurt  him,  by 
reason  of  his  armour,*  yet  he  was  so  terrified  with  this  un- 
expected conflict,  and  considering  with  himself,  that  he 
must  receive  several  such  brushes  before  he  could  advance 
to  the  plain  country  :  and  what  was  above  all,  being  sensible 
that  by  such  a  rash  misfortune  he  might  lose  all  the  honour 
and  fame  which  he  had  before  obtained,  sent  a  message  to 
parley  with  them  who  kept  the  passage,  and  with  all  as- 
surance of  safety,  to  desire  them  to  come  to  the  king.  The 
Welsh  being  come,  and  questioned  how  they  had  such 
confidence  to  oppose  the  king,  and  to  put  his  life  in  so 
much  danger,  made  answer,  that  they  belonged  to  Meredith 
ap  Blethyn,  and  according  to  their  master's  orders  they 
were  resolved  to  keep  the  passage,  or  to  die  upon  the  spot. 
The  king  finding  them  so  resolute,  desired  them  to  go  to 
Meredith  and  propose  to  him  an  agreement  of  peace,  which 
he  and  his  cousins,  the  sons  of  Cadwgan,  accepted  of;  and 
promised  to  pay  the  king  10,000  head  of  cattle,  in  retri- 
bution for  former  offences.  And  so  King  Henry  leaving  all 
things  in  a  peaceable  and  quiet  posture  in  Wales,  and  ap- 
pointing the  Lord  Fitz-Warren  warden  or  lieutenant  of  the 
Marches,  returned  to  England. f 

A.D.  1120.  When  a  foreign  enemy  was  removed  out  of  the  country, 
the  Welsh  could  never  forbear  quarrelling  with  each  other ; 
and  now  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  ap  Theodore,  who  had  been  for 
some  time  quiet,  fell  upon  Gruffydh  ap  Sulhaern,  and  for 
some  reason  not  discovered,  treacherously  slew  him.  The 
1121.  next  year  there  happened  another  occasion  of  disturbances 
and  falling  out  among  the  Welsh ;  for  Eineon,  the  son  of 
Cadwgan  dying,  left  all  his  share  of  Powys  and  Merioneth 
to  his  brother  Meredith.  But  his  uncle  Meredith  ap 
Blethyn,  thinking  that  these  lands  more  properly  belonged 
to  him,  ejected  his  nephew  Meredith,  to  whom  his  brother 
Eineon  had  left  them,  and  took  possession  of  them  himself. 
To  augment  these  differences,  King  Henry  set  now  at  liberty 
Ithel  ap  Riryd  ap  Blethyn,  Meredith's  nephew,  who  had 
been  for  a  long  time  detained  in  prison  ;  and,  who  coming 
to  his  own  country,  was  in  expectation  to  enjoy  his  estate, 


*  Stowe's  Chron.  p.  140.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  185. 

It  was  uncertain  from  whence  this  stroke  proceeded  ;  but  Henry,  the  instant  he  felt  it, 
swore  "  by  the  death  of  our  Lord,"  his  usual  oath,  that  the  arrow  came  not  from  a  Welsh 
but  an  English  bow. — William  Malmsbury,  p.  158,  Frankfort  edit. ;  Baker's  Chron.  p.  40. 
t  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  185, 186, 187.— Wm.  Malmsbury,  p.  159. 


which,  upon  his  being  put  in   custody,  his  relations  had 
divided  betwixt  them ;    of  which,  the  greatest  share  fell  to 
his  uncle  Meredith  :    but  when   GrufFydh   ap   Conan  was 
informed  that  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  contrary  to  all  justice, 
had  taken  away  by  force  the  lands  of  his  nephew  Meredith 
ap  Cadwgan,  he  sent  his  sons  Cadwalhon  and  Owen  with  an 
army  into  Merioneth,   who  conquering   and  bringing    to 
subjection  all  the  country,  carried  away  the  chief  of  the 
people  and  all  the  cattle  to  Lhyn :  and  at  the  same  time  the 
sons  of  Cadwgan  entered  into  the  lands  of  Lhywarch  ap 
Trahaern,  and  cruelly  wasted  and  destroyed  it,  because  he 
had  countenanced  the  doings  of  their  uncle  Meredith  ap 
Blethyn.     These  inward  clashings  and  animosities  concern- 
ing estates  and  titles,  were  seconded  by  most  unnatural 
bloodshed    and  unparalleled  cruelties  ;    for  Meredith    ap 
Blethyn,   when   he  found  that  his  nephew  Meredith   ap 
Cadwgan  was  assisted  by  the  Prince  of  North  Wales,  and 
that  it  was  impracticable  to  keep  Merioneth  from  him,  he 
was  resolved  to  practise  that  upon  his  nephew,  which  he 
had  failed  to  effect  upon  another:   and,  therefore,  lest  his  A.  D.  1122. 
other  nephew  Ithel  ap  Riryd  should  meet  with  the  like  help 
and  encouragement  to  recover  those  lands,  which  during  his 
imprisonment  were  taken  from  him,  and  of  which  his  uncle 
actually  enjoyed  a  considerable  share  ;  Meredith  thought 
he  would  prevent  all  disputes,  by  sending  Ithel  out  of  the 
world,  which,  upon  mature  deliberation,  he  treacherously 
effected.     Nor  was  this  the  only  murder  committed  at  this 
time;  for  Cadwalhon,  the  son  of  GrufFydh  ap  Conan,  ex- 
ceeded him  far  for  guilt,  and  slew  his  three  uncles,  Grono, 
Ryryd,  and  Meilyr,  the  sons  of  Owen  ap  Edwyn  ;  and,  what 
was  most  unnatural  of  all,  Morgan  ap  Cadwgan  with  his 
own  hands  killed  his  brother  Meredith,  a  crime  most  exe- 
crable, though  he  did  afterwards  repent  of  it. 

Not  long  after  this,  GrufFydh  ap  Rhys,  by  the  false  and  1124. 
invidious  accusations  of  the  Normans,  was  dispossessed  of 
all  the  lands  which  King  Henry  had  formerly  granted  him, 
and  which  he  had  for  a  considerable  time  peaceably  enjoyed.* 
Towards  the  end  of  the  same  year  died  Daniel  ap  Sulgien, 
Bishop  of  St.  David's,  and  Archdeacon  of  Powys,  a  man  of 
extraordinary  piety  and  learning,  and  one  who  made  it  his 
continual  employment  to  endeavour  to  work  a  reconciliation 
betwixt  North  Wales  and  Powys,  which  in  his  time  were 
continually  at  variance  and  enmity  with  one  another.  The 
next  year  died  GrufFydh,  the  son  of  Meredith  ap  Blethyn  ;f  U25. 


*  Welsh  Chron.  187. 

,    f  Welsh  Chron.  188. — Having  forsaken  the  interests  of  his  native  country,  had  long 
become  a  subject  of  the  King  of  England  — Ibid. 


and  about  the  same  time  Owen  ap  Cadwgan,  having  got 
into  his  hands  Meredith  ap  Llywarch,  delivered  him  to 
Pain  Fitz-John,  to  be  kept  safe  prisoner  in  the  castle  of 
Bridgnorth.  The  reason  of  this  was,  because  Meredith  had 
slain  Meyric,  his  cousin-german,  and  very  barbarously  had 
pulled  out  the  eyes  of  two  more  of  his  cousins,  the  sons  of 
Griffri.  This  cruel  and  inhuman  custom  of  plucking  out 
the  eyes  of  such  as  they  hated  or  feared  was  too  frequent ly 
A.D.  1126.  practised  in  Wales;  for  the  following  year  levaf  the  son  of 
Owen  served  two  of  his  brethren  after  this  unnatural  man- 
ner, and  thinking  that  too  little,  passed  a  sentence  of  perpe- 
tual banishment  upon  them.  A  little  after,  his  brother 
Lhewelyn  ap  Owen  slew  lorwerth  ap  Lhywarch ;  but  all 
this  mischief  practised  by  these  two  brothers  levaf  and 
Lhewelyn,  recoiled  at  last  upon  themselves ;  for  their  uncle 
Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  being  apprehensive  that  his  two 
nephews  were  much  in  his  way,  and  that  if  they  were  put 
aside,  all  their  estate  would  of  right  fall  to  him,  he  slew 
levaf  outright,  and  having  plucked  out  Lhewelyn's  eyes, 
castrated  him,  for  fear  he  should  beget  any  children  to 
inherit  his  lands  after  him.  These,  no  doubt,  were  bar- 
barous times,  when  for  the  least  offence,  nay  sometimes 
suspicion,  murder  was  so  openly  and  incorrigibly  commit- 
ted ;  which  must  of  necessity  be  attributed  to  this  one  evil, 
That  so  many  petty  states  having  equal  power  and  authority 
in  their  own  territories,  and  being  subject  to  none  but  the 
king  of  England,  still  endeavoured  to  outvie  and  overtop 
each  other  :  hence  nearness  of  relation  giving  way  to  ambi- 
tion, they  never  regarded  those  of  the  same  blood,  so  that 
themselves  might  add  to  their  strength,  and  increase  their 
estate  by  their  fall ;  and  for  this  reason  Meyric  slew  Lhy- 
warch, and  his  son  Madawc  his  own  cousins,  but  before  he 
could  make  any  advantage  by  their  death,  he  was  himself 
served  after  the  same  manner.  The  only  person  who  after- 
wards repented  of  such  a  foul  crime,  was  Morgan  ap 
Cadwgan,  who  being  severely  troubled  in  mind  for  the 
murder  he  had  lately  committed  upon  his  brother  Meredith, 
took  a  journey  to  Jerusalem  to  expiate  his  crime,  and  in  his 
return  from  thence  died  in  the  island  of  Cyprus.  This 
treacherous  way  of  privately  murdering  those  by  whom  they 
1129.  were  offended,  was  prevalent  among  the  Welsh ;  for  Eineon 
the  son  of  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  remembering  that  Cadwalhon 
the  son  of  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  had  basely  slain  three  of  his 
brothers,  and  taking  the  opportunity  of  his  being  at  Nan- 
hewdwy,  he,  assisted  by  Cadwgan  ap  Grono  ap  Edwyn,  set 
upon  him  and  slew  him.  About  the  same  time,  that  great 



usurper  Meredith  a])  Bletbyn  ap  Confyn,  who,  by  the  most 
unnatural  and  horrid  practices,  had  got  the  lands  of  all  liJs 
brothers  and  nephews,  and  by  that  means  was  become  a 
man  of  the  greatest  strength  and  sway  in  Powys,  died  of  a 
fit  of  sickness,  which  had  reduced  him  to  such  an  appre- 
hension of  the  consequences  of  his  former  misdeeds,  that  he 
did  penance  as  an  expiation  of  his  guilt. 

In  the  year  1 134,  till  which  time  nothing  of  moment  was  A.D.  1134. 
transacted  in  Wales,  Henry,  the  first  of  that  name,  King  of 
England,  died  in  Normandy  in  the  month  of  October ;  after 
whom  Stephen  Earl  of  Buloign,  son  to  the  Earl  of  Blois, 
his  sister's  son,  by  the  means  of  Hugh  Bygod,  was  crowned 
king  by  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  all  the  nobility  of 
England  consenting  thereto;  though  contrary  to  a  former 
oath  they  had  taken  to  Maud  the  Empress.  The  first 
thing  that  employed  his  thoughts  after  his  accession  to  the 
government,  was  against  David  King  of  the  Scots ;  who 
taking  advantage  of  this  new  revolution  in  England,  by 
some  treacherous  means  or  other,  got  the  towns  of  Carlisle 
and  Newcastle  into  his  hands :  but  King  Stephen,  though 
scarcely  settled  in  his  throne,  presently  marched  towards 
the  North;  of  whose  coming  David  being  assured,  and 
fearing  to  meet  him,  voluntarily  restored  Newcastle,  and  com- 
pounded for  Carlisle ;  but  would  not  swear  to  him  by  reason 
of  his  oath  to  Maud ;  which,  however,  his  son  did  not  scruple 
to  do ;  and  thereupon  was  by  King  Stephen  created  Earl  of 
Huntingdon.  This  alteration  of  affairs  in  England  made  1135. 
also  the  Welsh  bestir  themselves ;  for  Morgan  ap  Owen,  a 
man  of  considerable  quality  and  estate  in  Wales,  remember- 
ing the  wrong  and  injury  he  had  received  at  the  hands  of 
Richard  Fitz-Gilbert,  slew  him,  together  with  his  son 
Gilbert.  And  shortly  after  this,  Cadwalader  and  Owen 
Gwyneth,  the  sons  of  Gruflfydh  ap  Conan  Prince  of  North 
Wales,  having  raised  a  mighty  army,  marched  against  the 
Normans  and  Flemings,  and,  coming  to  Cardigan,*  com- 
mitted very  considerable  waste  ami  havock  in  the  country, 
and  took  two  of  the  strongest  places,  one  belonging  to 
Walter  Espec,f  and  the  castle  of  Aberystwyth.  In  this 
last  place  they  were  joined  by  Howel  ap  Meredith  and 
Rhys  ap  Madawc  ap  Ednerth;  who,  marching  forward, 
took  the  castle  of  Richard  de  la  Mare,  together  with  those 
of  Dinerth  and  Caerwedros,  and  then  returned  with  very 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  189. 

f  He  built  the  castle  called  Catted  Gwalter,  in  the  parish  of  Llanfihangel  Genau 
Glyn.     It  was  destroyed  in  (he  year  1135,  by  Cadwaladyr  and  Owain  Gwynedd. 


valuable  booty.  Having  succeeded  so  well  in  this  expedi- 
tion, they  could  not  rest  satisfied  till  they  had  delivered  the 
whole  country  from  the  intolerable  pride  and  oppression  of 
the  Normans  and  Flemings ;  and,  therefore,  returning  the 
same  year  to  Cardigan  with  6000  foot  and  2000  horse, 
well  disciplined  and  experienced  soldiers ;  and  being  joined 
by  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  and  Howel  ap  Meredith  of  Brecknock 
with  his  sons,  and  Madawc  ap  Ednerth,  they  over-ran  the 
country  as  far  as  Aberteifi,  restoring  all  the  former  inhabit- 
ants to  their  proper  inheritances,  and  discarding  all  such 
strangers  as  the  late  Earl  of  Strygil  had  placed  in  the 
country.  But  when  Stephen,  who  was  governor  of  Aber- 
teifi, saw  that,  he  called  to  him  Robert  Fitz-Martyn,  the 
sons  of  Gerald,  and  William  Fitz- John,  with  all  the  strength 
of  the  Normans,  Flemings,  and  English  in  Wales  or  the 
Marches,  and,  meeting  with  the  Welsh  betwixt  Aber  Nedd 
and  Aber  Dyfi,  gave  them  battle.  After  a  very  fierce  and 
bloody  encounter,  the  English  began  to  give  ground,  and, 
according  to  their  usual  manner,  trusting  too  much  to  the 
strength  of  their  towns  and  fortifications,  began  to  look  how 
to  save  themselves  that  way ;  but  the  Welsh  pressed  upon 
them  so  hard,  that  they  killed  above  3000  men,  besides 
several  that  were  drowned,  and  many  were  taken  prisoners. 
This  victory  being  obtained,  Cadwalader  and  Owen  over- 
ran the  whole  country,  forcing  all  the  Normans  and 
Flemings  to  depart  the  country  with  all  speed,  and  placing 
in  their  room  those  miserable  Welsh  who  had  been  so  long 
deprived  and  kept  from  their  own  estates;  and  after  they 
had  thus  cleared  the  country  of  their  insatiable  invaders, 
they  returned  to  North  Wales,  laden  with  very  rich  spoils 
and  acceptable  plunder.*  The  king  of  England  was  not  in 
a  condition  to  take  cognizance  of  the  extremities  his  sub- 
jects were  reduced  to  in  Wales,  because  his  own  nobles 
of  England  were  risen  in  arms  against  him ;  the  reason  of 
which  tumult  among  the  nobility  was  occasioned  by  a  falla- 
cious report  that  had  been  spread  of  the  king's  death,  who 
then  lay  sick  of  a  lethargy.  They  that  bore  him  no  good- 
will spread  the  rumour  as  much  as  they  could,  and  stirred 
up  the  common  people  in  behalf  of  the  Empress ;  whereas 
on  the  other  hand  the  king's  friends  betook  themselves  to 
castles  and  strongholds  for  fear  of  the  Empress,  and  among 
others  Hugh  Bygod  secured  the  castle  of  Norwich,  and 
after  he  was  assured  that  the  king  was  well  again,  he  was 
loth  to  deliver  the  same  out  of  his  possession,  unless  it  were 
A.  D.  1137.  to  the  king's  own  hands.  During  these  commotions  and 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  189. 


troubles  in  England,  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  son  to  Rhys  ap 
Theodore,  the  right  heir  to  the  principality  of  South  Wales, 
died,  leaving  issue  a  son  called  Rhys,  commonly  known  by 
the  name  of  Lord  Rhys,  by  Gwenlhian  the  daughter  of 
Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  who  by  some  is  said  to  have  poisoned 
her  husband.*  Towards  the  end  of  the  same  year  died 
likewise  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of  North  Wales,f  after 
he  had  reigned  57  years  :  his  death  was  much  lamented  by 
all  his  subjects,  because  he  was  a  prince  of  incomparable 
qualities,  and  one  who,  after  divers  victories  obtained  over 
the  English,  had  thoroughly  purged  North  Wales  from  all 
foreigners.  He  had  issue  by  Angharad,  the  daughter  of 
Owen  ap  Edwyn,J  three  sons, — namely,  Owen,  Cadwalader, 
and  Cadwalhon,§  and  five  daughters, — Marret,  Susanna, 
Ranulht,  Agnes,  and  Gwenlhian;  and  by  a  concubine 
lago,  Ascain,  Edwal  (Abbot  of  Penmon),  Dolhing,  and 
Elen,  who  was  married  to  Hova  ap  Ithel  Felyn  of  Yal. 
There  were  several  excellent  laws  enacted  in  his  time ;  and 
among  the  rest,  he  reformed  the  great  disorders  of  the 
Welsh  minstrels,  which  wrere  then  grown  to  great  abuse. 
Of  these  there  were  three  sorts  in  Wales ;  the  first  were 
called  Beirdh,  who  composed  several  songs  and  odes  of 
various  measures,  wherein  the  poet's  skill  was  not  only 
required,  but  also  a  natural  endowment,  or  a  vein  which  the 
Latins  term  furor  poeticus.  These  likewise  kept  the 
records  of  all  gentlemen's  arms  and  pedigrees,  and  were 
principally  esteemed  among  all  the  degrees  of  the  Welsh 
poets.  The  next  were  such  as  played  upon  musical  instru- 
ments, chiefly  the  harp  and  the  crowd  or  crwth;  which 
musick  Gruffydh ||  ap  Conan  first  brought  over  into  WTales; 


*  Gwenlhian,  desirous  of  aiding  the  designs  of  her  husband,  took  the  field  in  person 
at  the  head  of  her  own  forces,  attended  by  her  two  sons ;  but  her  army  was  defeated 
by  Maurice  de  Londres.  Morgan,  one  of  her  sons,  was  slain  in  the  action,  and  her  other 
son,  Maelgwyn,  was  taken  prisoner  ;  and  the  princess  herself,  it  is  said,  was  beheaded  by 
the  orders  of  her  brutal  enemy. — Girald.  Cambr.  Uin.  An  action  so  savage,  without 
precedent  even  in  these  times,  called  loudly  for  vengeance  on  the  spirit  of  ihe  injured 
princess.  This  circumstance  clearly  contradicts  the  assertion  of  Morentius  Monk  of 
Westminster,  that  Gwenlhian,  wife  to  Gryffydh  ap  Rhys,  by  deceitful  practices,  had  been 
the  cause  of  his  death.— Girald.  Cambr.  I  tin.  lib.  i.  c.  iv.  See  Welsh  Chron.  p.  190. 

f  He  died  at  the  advanced  age  of  eighty-two  years,  and  was  buried  on  the  south  side 
of  the  great  altar  in  the  church  of  Bangor.- — Vita  Griff,  fil.  Conani. 

J  Lord  of  Englefield. 
§  He  was  slain  before  the  death  of  his  father. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  191. 

||  An  elegy  on  Gruffydh  was  sung  by  Meilyr  Brydydd,  which  piece  is  preserved  in  the 
Welsh  Archaiology,  and  concludes  thus, — 

"  O,  may  the  son  of  Cynan,  of  enlarge.!  mind,  be  with  Christ  in  the  pure  adoration  of 
the  region  of  glory  !  Since  the  chief  of  men  obtains  the  social  confidence  of  angels,  as  to 
my  life  I  have  not  a  longing  wish  :  he  is,  through  the  meritorious  rrediation  of  One  of 
the  Unity  of  Trinity,  in  a  purely  splendid  home  of  the  celestial  world." 


who  being  born  in  Ireland,  and  descended  by  his  mother's 
side  of  Irish  parents,  brought  with  him  from  thence  several 
skilful  musicians,  that  invented  almost  all  the  instruments 
which  were  afterwards  played  upon  in  Wales.  The  last 
sort  were  called  Atcaneaid,  whose  business  it  was  to  sing  to 
the  instruments  played-  upon  by  another.  Each  of  these, 
by  the  same  statute,  had  their  several  reward  and  encou- 
ragement allotted  to  them ;  their  life  and  behaviour  was  to 
be  spotless  and  unblameable,  otherwise  their  punishment 
was  very  severe  and  rigid,  every  one  having  authority  to 
punish  and  correct  them,  even  to  the  deprivation  of  all  they 
had.  They  were  also  interdicted  and  forbidden  to  enter 
any  man's  house,  or  to  compose  any  song  of  any  one, 
without  the  special  leave  and  warrant  of  the  party  concerned ; 
with  many  other  ordinances  relating  to  the  like  purpose. 


A.D.  1137.  AFTER  the  death  of  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  his  eldest  son 
Owen,  surnamed  Gwynedh,  succeeded  in  the  principality 
of  North  Wales;  who  had  no  sooner  entered  upon  the 
government  than,  together  with  the  rest  of  his  brethren, 
he  made  an  expedition  into  South  Wales,  and  having 
demolished  and  overthrown  the  castles  of  Stradmeyric, 
Stephan,  and  Humflfrey,  and  laid  in  ashes  the  town  of 
Caermardhyn,*  he  returned  home  with  no  less  honour  than 
booty  and  plunder.  About  the  same  time,  John,  Arch- 
deacon of  Lhanbadarn,  departed  this  life,  a  man  of  singular 
piety  and  strictness  of  life,  who,  for  his  rigid  zeal  in  religion 
and  virtue,  was  thought  worthy  to  be  canonized,  and  to  be 
counted  among  the  number  of  the  saints.  This  year  like- 
wise King  Stephen  passed  over  to  Normandy,  and  having 
concluded  a  peace  with  the  French  king  and  the  Duke  of 
Anjou,  returned  back  to  England  without  any  further 
delay:  but  the  following  spring  gave  opportunity  for 
greater  undertakings;  David  king  of  Scots,  upon  the  king 
of  England's  going  to  France  last  summer,  had  entered  the 
borders  of  England,  and  continued  to  make  considerable 
waste  and  havock  in  that  part  of  the  country.  Whereupon 
King  Stephen,  to  rid  his  country  and  his  subjects  from  so 
dangerous  an  enemy,  marched  with  an  army  towards  the 
North,  whose  coming  the  king  of  Scots  hearing  of,  he  relin- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  193.— He  retained  in  his  possession  all  Caerdigan,  compelled 
the  inhabitants  of  Pembroke  to  pay  him  tribute,  and  returned  to  his  own  dominions  in 
high  reputation,— Brit  Ant,  Rev.  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  23. 


quished  the  borders  of  England,   and  retired  to  his  own 
country.      But  that  did  not  satisfy  King  Stephen,   who 
desired  to  be  further  revenged  for  the  unpardonable  hostili- 
ties committed  by  the  Scots  in  his  dominions ;  and  therefore 
pursuing  them  to  their  own  country,  he  harassed  and  laid 
waste  all  the  south  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Scotland.     The 
king's  absence,  however,  animated  several  of  the  English 
nobility  to  rebel;    for  which  purpose  they  fortified  every 
one  of    their  castles   and  strongholds;    William  Earl   of 
Gloucester  those    of   Leeds   and  Bristol;    Ralph   Lunel, 
Cari;  William  Fitz-Alan,  Shrewsbury;  Paganellus,  Lud- 
low;    William  de  Moyun,   Dunester;    Robert  de  Nichol, 
Warham;     Eustace    Fitz-John,    Merton;    and    Walklyn, 
Dover.      Notwithstanding   all  these  mighty   preparations, 
the  king  in  a  short  time  became  master  of  them  all ;  some 
he  won  by  assault,  others  upon  fair  promises  and  advan- 
tageous conditions  were  surrendered,  and  some  he  got  by 
treacherous  under-hand  contrivances.     The  Scots  thought 
to  take  advantage  of  these  commotions  in  England ;    and 
thereupon,  as  soon  as  they  heard  that  some  of  the  nobility 
were  in  actual  rebellion  against  the  king,  they  entered  into 
the  borders,  and  began,  as  they  thought  without  any  appre- 
hension of  opposition,  to  ravage  and  lay  waste  the  country 
before  them:    but  William  Earl   of  Albemarle,   William 
Pyppell  Earl  of  Nottingham,  Walter  Espec,  and  Gilbert 
Lacy,  gathered  together  all  the  forces  they  could  raise  in 
the  North;    and  being  animated  and  encouraged  by  the 
eloquent  and  pressing  oration  of  Ralph  Bishop  of  Orkneys, 
which  he  delivered  in  the  audience  of  the  whole  army,  they 
set  upon  the  Scots  at  Almerton  with  such   courage  that, 
after  a  very  great  slaughter  of  his  men,  King  David  was 
glad  to  escape  with  his  life  by  flight.      After  this,  King 
Stephen  seized  to  his  own  use  the  castles  of  Ludlow  and 
Leeds,  and  pressed  the  bishops  of  Salisbury  and  Lincoln  so 
hard,  that  to  prevent  their  perishing  by  famine,  they  were 
constrained  to  surrender ;    the  former  the  castles  of  Vises 
and  Shirburn,  the  latter  those  of  Newark-upon-Trent  and 
Sleeford.      This    greatly  augmented    the   king's   strength 
against  the  ensuing  storm;   for  in  the  summer  this  year, 
Maud  the  Empress,  daughter  and  heir  to  King  Henry,  to 
whom  King  Stephen  and  all  the  nobility  of  England  had 
sworn    allegiance,  landed  at  Arundel,    with  her  brother 
Robert  Earl  of  Gloucester,  and  was  there  honourably  re- 
ceived, by  William  de  Albineto,  who  was  lately  married 
to   Queen  Adeliz,  King  Henry's  widow,   with  whom   he 
received  the  Earldom  of  Arundel  in  dowry.     As  soon  as 



King  Stephen  heard  of  her  landing,  he  marched  with  all 
possible  speed  to  Arundel,  and  laid  siege  to  the  castle; 
but  finding  it  impregnable,  he  raised  the  siege,  and  by  that 
means  suffered  the  Empress  and  her  brother  to  escape  to 

A. D.  1138.  The  next  year  an  unlucky  accident  fell  out  in  Wales; 
Cynric/  one  of  Prince  Owen's  sons,  having  by  some  means 
or  other  disgusted  Madawc  ap  Meredith  ap  Blethyn  ap 
Confyn,  a  person  of  considerable  esteem  and  estate  in  the 
country,  was  by  his  connivance  set  upon  and  slain  by  his 
men.  The  affairs  of  England  this  year  afforded  greater 
rarity  of  action ;  King  Stephen  with  a  formidable  army  laid 
siege  to  the  city  of  Lincoln,  to  the  relief  of  which,  Ranulph 
Earl  of  Chester,  and  Robert  Earl  of  Gloucester,  marched 
with  their  forces :  but  before  they  could  arrive,  the  town 
was  taken ;  whereupon  they  drew  up  their  forces  in  order 
to  give  the  king  battle,  who  on  the  other  side  was  ready  to 
receive  them.  King  Stephen  drew  up  his  forces  in  three 
divisions,  the  first  being  led  by  the  Earls  of  Britain,  Mellent, 
Norfolk,  Hampton,  and  Warren ;  the  second  by  the  Earl  of 
Albemarle,  and  William  of  Ypres ;  and  the  third  by  the 
king  himself,  assisted  by  Baldwyn  Fitz-Gilbert,  with  several 
others  of  his  nobility.  Of  the  enemy's  side,  the  disinherited 
barons  had  the  first  place  ;  the  Earl  of  Chester,  with  a  con- 
siderable party  of  Welshmen,  far  better  couraged  than 
armed,  led  the  second ;  and  the  Earl  of  Gloucester  the 
third  division.  After  an  obstinate  battle  on  both  sides,  the 
victory  at  length  favoured  the  barons,  King  Stephen  being 
first  taken  prisoner,  and  a  little  after  the  queen,  together 
with  William  of  Ypres  and  Bryan  Fitz-Count ;  but  within 
a  while  after,  William  Martell  and  Geoffrey  de  Mandeville 
gathered  together  some  fresh  forces,  and  fought  the  Empress 
and  her  brother  at  Winchester,  and  having  put  the  Empress 
to  flight,  took  Earl  Robert  prisoner,  for  exchange  of  whom, 

1139.  the  king  was  set  at  liberty.     The  next  year  King  Stephen 
adventured  another  battle,  and  received  a  second  overthrow 
at  Wilton ;    which,  however,  did  not  so  much  discourage 
him,  but  that  he  laid  so  close  a  siege  to  the  Empress  and 
her  forces  at  Oxford,  that  she  was  glad  to  make  her  escape 
to  Wallingford.     The  same  year  died  Madawc  ap  Ednerth, 
a  person  of  great  quality  and  note  in  Wales  ;  and  Meredith 
ap  Howel,  a  man  in  considerable  esteem,  was  slain  by  the 
sons  of  Blethyn  ap  Gwyn. 

1140.  For  the  two  succeeding  years  nothing  remarkable  passed 
in  Wales ;  excepting  that  this  year  Howel  ap  Meredith  ap 
Rhytherch  of  Cantref  Bychan,  and  Rhys  ap  Howel  were 



slain  in  a  cowardly  manner  by  the  treachery  and  perfidious 
practices  of  the  Flemings;  and  the  next  year  Howel  ap^.D.  1141. 
Meredith  ap  Blethyn  was  basely  murdered  by  his  own  men ; 
at  which  time,  Howel  and  Cadwgan  the  sons  of  Madawc  ap 
Ednerth,  upon  some  unhappy  quarrel,  killed  each  other. 
Shortly  after  this,  an  irreconcileable  difference  fell  out  1142. 
betwixt  Ariarawd  son  to  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  Prince  of  South 
Wales,  and  his  father-in-law  Cadwalader  the  son  of  Gruftydh 
ap  Conan,  and  brother  to  Prince  Owen  Gwynedh  ;  which 
from  words  quickly  proceeded  to  blows.  In  this  dispute 
Anarawd  was  unhappily  slain ;  which  so  exasperated  Prince 
Owen  against  his  brother  Cadwalader,  that,  together  with 
his  son  Howel,  he  marched  with  an  army  into  his  brother's 
country,  and  after  a  considerable  waste  and  destruction, 
burnt  to  the  ground  the  castle  of  Aberystwyth.  Cadwalader, 
upon  hearing  the  news  of  Prince  Owen's  approach,  withdrew 
himself  and  fled  to  Ireland ;  where  having  hired  a  great 
number  of  Irish  and  Scots  for  two  thousand  marks,  under 
the  command  of  Octer,  and  the  sons  of  Turkel  and  Cherulf, 
he  sailed  for  Wales,  and  landed  at  Abermeny,*  in  Carnar- 
vonshire. The  Prince  marched  instantly  to  prevent  their 
farther  progress  into  the  country ;  and  both  armies  being 
come  in  view  of  each  other,  a  peace  was  happily  concluded 
betwixt  the  two  brothers.  The  Irish  understanding  this, 
and  that  their  coming  over  was  likely  to  prove  but  a  fool's 
errand  to  them,  they  surprised  and  secured  Cadwalader,  till 
their  wages  and  arrears  were  paid ;  who,  .to  obtain  hip 
liberty,  delivered  to  them  two  thousand  head  of  cattle, 
besides  many  prisoners,  and  other  booty,  which  they  had 
taken  in  the  country :  but  as  soon  as  the  prince  was  informed 
that  his  brother  Cadwalader  was  set  free,  he  fell  upon  the 
Irish,  and  having  slain  a  very  considerable  number  of  them, 
recovered  all  the  booty  they  purposed  to  ship  off,  and  forced 
as  many  as  could  escape  to  return  with  great  Joss,  and  a 
greater  shame,  back  to  Ireland,  f 

The  Normans,  however,  had  far  better  success  in  Wales ; 
Hugh  son  to  Radulph  Earl  of  Chester,  having  fortified  his 
castle  of  Cymaron,  entered  and  won  the  country  of  Melienyth 
a  second  time;  and  the  castle  of  Clun  being  fortified  by 
another  lord,  all  Elvel  became  subject  to  the  Normans.  At 
the  same  time  King  Stephen  took  Geoffrey  Mandeville 
prisoner  at  St.  Albans,  where  the  Earl  of  Arundel,  by  the 
fall  of  his  horse,  had  nearly  been  drowned  in  the  river :  but 
the  Earl  of  Mandeville,  to  obtain  his  liberty,  delivered  up 
to  the  king  the  tower  of  London,  with  the  castles  of  Walden 


*  Abermenai.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  197. 


and  Plassey,  which  reduced  him  to  such  a  condition,  that  he 
was  forced  to  live  upon  the  plunder  and  spoil  of  abbies  and 
other  religious  houses,  till  at  length  he  was  slain  in  a  skir- 
mish against  the  king,  and  his  son  was  banished. 
A.  D.  1144.  The  next  year  a  skirmish  happened  betwixt  Hugh  de 
Mortimer  and  Rhys  ap  Howel,  wherein  the  latter  was  taken 
prisoner,  with  many  others  of  his  accomplices,  who  were  all 
committed  to  prison  by  the  English :  but  it  fared  much 
better  with  Howel*  and  Conan,  the  sons  of  Prince  Owen, 
who  having  raised  an  army  against  the  Flemings  and  Nor- 
mans, gained  a  considerable  victory  at  Aberteifi,f  and 
having  placed  a  garrison  in  the  town,  returned  home  with 
great  honour  and  much  booty. 

About  the  same  time,  Sulien  ap  Rhythmarch,  one  of  the 
college  of  Lhanbadarn,  and  a  person  of  great  reading  and 
extensive  learning,  departed  this  life.  Shortly  after,  Gilbert 
Earl  of  Clare  came  with  a  great  number  of  forces  to  Dyfed, 
and  built  the  castle  of  Caermardhyn,  and  the  castle  of  the 
1145.  sons  of  Uchtryd.J  Hugh  Mortimer  likewise  slew  Meyric 
ap  Madawc  ap  Riryd  ap  Bleddin,  and  Meredith  ap  Madawc 
ap  Ednerth.  Thus  far  it  went  of  the  side  of  the  English ; 
but  now  the  Welsh  began  to  gain  ground  :  Cadelh  the  son 
of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  laid  siege  to 
the  castle  of  Dynefawr,§  belonging  to  Earl  Gilbert,  which 
being  surrendered,  Cadelh,  assisted  by  his  brethren  Meredith 
and  Rhys,  brought  his  army  before  the  castle  of  Caermard- 
hyn, which  after  a  short  siege  yielded  in  a  like  manner,  on 
condition,  however,  that  the  garrison  should  not  be  put  to 
the  sword.  || 

From  thence  he  marched  to  Lhanstephan,1[and  encamped 
before  the  castle ;  to  the  relief  of  which  the  Normans  and 
Flemings  coming  with  their  forces,  were  completely  van- 

quished, and  the  castle  was  speedily  delivered  up  to  the 
Welsh.  The  Normans  were  so  much  incensed  at  this,  that 
they  mustered  all  the  forces  they  could  draw  together  out 
of  the  neighbouring  countries,  and  unexpectedly  surrounded 
the  castle,  intending  by  all  possible  means  to  recover  the 
same :  but  the  governor,  Meredith  ap  Gruffydh,  a  man  of 
great  years,  and  no  less  experience,  so  animated  and  en- 
couraged the  besieged,  that  when  the  Normans  and  Flemings 
ventured  to  scale  the  walls,  they  were  beat  back  with  such 


*  Besides  being  a  gallant  warrior,  Prince  Howel  was  a  bard  of  some  eminence :  he 
wrote  an  account  of  his  battles  in  verse,  and  some  love  verses,  in  a  most  elegant  manner  j 
several  of  which  appear  in  the  Welsh  Archaiology. 

f  Welsh  Chron.p.198.  J  Ibid. 

§  Dinas  Faur,  or  the  Great  Palace.  |]  Welsh  Chron.  p.  198. 

Ofl  Llan  Stephan,  situate  on  the  mouth  of  the  river  Towi,  in  the  county  of  Caermarthen. 


vigour,  and  loss  on  their  side,  that  at  length  they  were  com- 
pelled to  raise  the  siege,  and  leave  the  Welsh  in  possession 
of  the  castle.* 

Shortly  after  this,  Run,f  the  son  of  Prince  Owen  of  North 
Wales,  a  youth  of  great  promise  and  incomparable  qualifi- 
cations, died,  whose  death  his  father  took  so  much  to  heart, 
that  for  some  time  he  seemed  to  be  past  all  comfort,  being 
fallen  into  such  a  melancholy  disposition,  that  he  was  satis- 
fied with  nothing  but  retirement :  but  an  accident  fell  out, 
which  roused  him  out  of  this  lethargical  fit  of  sorrow  and 
discontent :  the  castle  of  Mold  was  so  very  strong  and  well 
garrisoned  by  the  English,  that  it  greatly  annoyed  the 
country  thereabouts,  and  had  been  frequently  besieged,  but 
could  never  be  taken.  Prince  Owen  at  this  time  levied  an 
army,  and  laid  close  siege  to  it ;  and  the  garrison  throughout 
several  assaults  behaved  itself  so  manfully,  that  the  place 
seemed  impregnable  :  but  the  presence  and  example  of 
Prince  Owen  so  encouraged  his  men>  that  they  renewed  the 
attack  with  all  possible  vigour  and  might,  and  at  last  forced 
their  entrance  into  the  castle.  Having  put  a  great  number 
of  the  garrison  to  the  sword,  and  taken  the  rest  prisoners, 
the  castle  was  razed  to  the  ground;  and  this  fortunate 
attempt  so  pleased  the  prince,  that  he  forgot  all  sorrow  for 
his  son,  and  returned  to  his  usual  temper  and  accustomed 
merriments.  At  the  same  time,  King  Stephen  of  England 
obtained  a  remarkable  victory  over  his  enemies  at  Faren- 
don ;  and  although  the  ensuing  year  Randal  Earl  of  Chester 
and  he  were  reconciled,  yet  he  thought  it  more  adviseable 
to  detain  him  prisoner,  though  contrary  to  his  promise^ 
until  such  time  as  the  Earl  would  deliver  up  the  castle  of 
Lincoln,  with  all  the  forts  and  places  of  strength  in  his 

The  next  year,  Cadelh,  Meredith,  and  Rhys,  the  sons  of  A.D.  1146. 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  ap  Theodore  brought  an  army  before  the 
castle  of  Gwys ;  but  finding  themselves  too  weak  to  master 
it,  they  desired  Howel,  son  to  Prince  Owen  Gwynedh,  a 
person  famous  for  martial  endowments,  to  come  to  their 
assistance.  Howel,  who  was  very  desirous  of  signalizing 
himself,  and  of  evidencing  his  valour  to  the  world,  readily 
consented  to  their  request;  and  having  drawn  his  forces 
together,  marched  directly  towards  Gwys,  where  being 
arrived,  he  was  joyfully  received,  and  honourably  entertained 
by  such  lords  as  desired  his  help.  Having  viewed  the 
strength  and  fortification  of  the  castle,  he  found  it  was  im- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  198. 
t  A  favourite,  though  an  illegitimate  son. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  226. 


practicable  to  take  the  place,  without  the  walls  could  be 
destroyed  •  and  therefore  he  gave  orders  that  certain  batter- 
ing engines  should  be  provided,  whilst  the  rest  should 
harass  and  molest  the  besieged,  by  throwing  great  stones 
into  the  castle.*  The  enemies  perceiving  what  irresistible 
preparations  the  besiegers  contrived,  thought  it  to  no  pur- 
pose to  withstand  their  fury ;  and  therefore  to  do  that  volun- 
tarily which  must  be  done  by  compulsion,  they  presently 
yielded  up  the  castle.  Shortly  after  this  a  great  difference 
happened  betwixt  the  sons  of  Prince  Owen,  Howel  and 
Conan,  and  their  uncle  Cadwalader ;  whereupon  the  former 
entered  with  an  army  into  the  country  of  Merioneth,  and 
committed  great  wastes  and  hostilities  there,  insomuch  that 
the  inhabitants  flocked  into  sanctuaries  to  save  their  lives : 
but  the  young  lords  finding  what  a  fearful  and  unsettled 
condition  the  people  were  in,  and  the  better  to  draw  them 
to  their  side,  issued  a  proclamation,  assuring  them  that  all 
who  would  favour  their  country,  should  not  only  enjoy  their 
lives,  but  their  former  liberty  and  accustomed  privileges ; 
upon  the  publication  of  which  edict,  the  people  returned  to 
their  own  habitations.  Having  by  this  stratagem  brought 
all  the  country  under  their  own  pleasure  and  good  will,  they 
led  their  army  before  the  castle  of  Cynvael,  belonging  to 
Cadwalader,  which  he  had  built  and  strongly  fortified. 
The  government  of  this  castle  Cadwalader  had  committed 
to  Merfyn,  abbot  of  Tygwyn,  or  the  White  House;  who 
being  summoned  to  surrender,  by  the  brothers  Howel  and 
Conan,  did  not  only  refuse,  but  defied  their  utmost  efforts 
upon  the  place.  The  lords  finding  they  could  do  no.  good 
by  threats  and  menaces,  judged  it  more  convenient  to  make 
use  of  the  other  extreme ;  and  therefore  promised  the  abbot 
a  very  high  reward,  if  he  would  deliver  the  castle  into  their 
hands :  but  all  proved  of  no  effect,  the  abbot  being  a  person 
of  more  honesty  and  greater  honour  than  to  be  corrupted  to 
betray  his  trust,  told  them  flatly  that  he  would  not  deceive 
his  master's  expectation,  and  therefore  would  choose  rather 
to  die  with  honour,  than  to  live  with  shame.  The  lords 
finding  him  inexorable,  and  withal  being  vexed  that  a 
churchman  should  put  such  a  stop  to  their  fortunate  pro- 
ceedings, made  such  a  vigorous  assault  upon  the  castle,  that 
after  they  had  pulled  down  some  part  of  the  walls,  they 
entered  in  by  force,  and  ravaged  so  furiously,  that  they 
killed  and  wounded  the  whole  garrison,  the  abbot  only 
escaping,  who,  by  the  help  of  some  of  his  friends  in  Howel's 
army,  got  away  safe.f  Towards  the  close  of  this  year, 


«  Welsh  Chron.  p.  200.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  201. 


several  persons  of  note  departed  this  life,  among  whom  were 
Robert  Earl  of  Gloucester,  and  Gilbert  Earl  of  Clare,  as 
also  Uchthryd  bishop  of  Llandaff,  a  man  of  great  piety  and 
learning,  in  whose  see  succeeded  Nicholas  ab  Gurgant. 

The  following  year  also   died  Bernard   bishop   of    St.  A.  D.  1147. 
David's,  and  was    succeeded  by   David   Fitzgerald,   then 
archdeacon  of  Cardigan.       Sometime  after,  Prince  Owen  1148. 
Gwynedh  built  a  castle  in  Yale,  called  Castelh  y  Rodwyth ; 
and  his  brother  Cadwalader  built  another  at  Lhanrystid, 
and  bestowed  his  part  of  Cardigan  upon  his  son  Cadwgan. 
Also  Madoc  the  son  of  Meredith  ap  Blethyn  founded  the 
castle  of  Oswestry,  and  gave  his  nephews  Owen  and  Meyric, 
the  sons  of  Gruffydh  ap  Meredith,  his  share  of  Cyfeilioc. 

The  next  year  Conan  son  to  Prince  Owen  Gwynedh,  for  1149. 
certain  faults  and  miscarriages  committed  against  his  father, 
though  the  particulars  are  not  discovered,  was  put  in  prison, 
where  for  some  time  he  continued  in  custody.  But  it  fared 
better  with  his  brother  Howel,  who  having  made  his  uncle 
Cadwalader  his  prisoner,  reduced  all  his  country,  together 
with  his  castle,  subject  to  himself.  In  South  Wales,  some 
business  of  moment  happened  this  year ;  Cadelh  the  son  of 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  having  fortified  the  castle  of  Carmardhyn, 
marched  with  his  army  towards  Cydwely,  wasted  and  de- 
stroyed the  whole  country,  and  being  returned  home,  joined 
his  army  with  his  brothers  Meredith  and  Rhys,  who  entering 
into  the  country  of  Cardigan,  won  that  part  called  Is  Aeron. 
This  was  succeeded  by  an  action  of  greater  importance  in 
North  Wales;  some  irreconcileable  difference  arising  be- 
twixt Prince  Owen  and  Randal  Earl  of  Chester,  it  quickly 
broke  out  into  open  war.  The  Earl  made  all  the  prepara- 
tions the  time  would  permit,  and  drew  together  a  consider- 
able army  from  all  parts  of  England,  and  what  strengthened 
and  encouraged  him  the  more,  he  was  joined  by  Madoc  ap 
Meredith  Prince  of  Powys,  who  disdaining  to  hold  his  lands 
of  Prince  Owen  Gwynedh,  chose  rather  to  side  with  and 
abet  his  enemies.  The  prince,  on  the  other  hand,  was  not 
backward  in  his  preparations,  and  perceiving  the  enemy  to 
come  upon  him,  thought  it  adviseable  not  to  suffer  him  to 
advance  too  far  into  the  country,  but  to  stop  and  prevent  his 
career  before  he  should  take  too  firm  a  footing  in  his  do- 
minions. To  this  end  he  marched  with  his  whole  power  as 
far  as  Consyllt  in  Flintshire,  with  full  resolution  to  give  the 
Earl  of  Chester  battle,  which  the  English  were  glad  of,  as 
thinking  themselves  far  more  numerous,  and  much  better 
armed  and  disciplined  than  the  Welsh :  but  both  armies 
having  joined  battle,  the  English  quickly  faltered  in  their 
expectation  of  success,  and  finding  the  Welsh  to  press 



irresistibly  upon  them,  they  thought  it  wiser  to  retire,  and 
endeavour  to  save  themselves  by  flight:  the  Welsh,  how- 
ever, pursued  them  so  hard  that  few  escaped  being  either 
slain  or  taken  prisoners,  and  they  some  of  the  chief  com- 
manders, who  through  the  fleetness  of  their  horses  avoided 
the  fury  of  their  pursuers.* 

A.  D.  1150.  The  next  year  the  scene  of  action  removed  to  South 
Wales ;  Cadelh,  Meredith,  and  Rhys,  the  sons  of  Gruffydh 
ap  Rh}'s,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  being  entered  with  an 
army  into  Cardigan,  won  all  the  country  from  the  son  of 
Howel  Prince  of  North  Wales,  excepting  the  castle  of 
Lhanfihangel  in  Pengwern.  The  siege  of  Lhanrystyd  castle 
proved  so  difficult,  that  the  young  lords  of  South  Wales  lost 
a  great  part  of  their  bravest  soldiers  before  it,  which  so 
enraged  them,  that  when  they  got  possession  of  the  castle, 
they  put  all  the  garrison  to  the  sword.  From  thence  they 
marched  to  Ystradmeyric  castle,  which  after  they  had  won, 
manned,  and  re-fortified,  they  disbanded  their  forces,  and 
returned  home.  But  Cadelh,  the  eldest  of  the  brothers, 
was  upon  the  point  of  receiving  that  blow  by  treachery  at 
home,  which  he  had  escaped  from  the  enemies  abroad ;  for 
some  of  the  inhabitants  of  Tenby  in  Pembrokeshire,  having 
conceived  a  displeasure  and  hatred  against  Cadelh,  were 
resolved  to  revenge  themselves,  and  to  lay  a  trap  for  his  life; 
and  having  observed  that  he  took  great  pleasure  in  hunting, 
were  resolved  to  execute  their  plot,  whilst  he  was  hot  and 
eager  at  his  sport.  Observing,  therefore,  one  day  that  he 
went  a  hunting  with  only  a  few  companions,  they  placed  them- 
selves in  ambuscade,  and  when  the  game  came  that  way,  they 
unexpectedly  set  upon  the  unarmed  sportsmen,  and  having 
easily  made  all  the  rest  fly  away,  they  wounded  Cadelh  so 
cruelly,  that  he  narrowly  escaped  their  hands  alive;  he 
made  shift,  however,  to  get  home,  lay  for  a  long  time  dan- 
gerously ill,  and  with  great  difficulty  at  length  recovered  his 
life.  Upon  this,  his  brothers  Meredith  and  Rhys  passed 
with  an  army  into  Gwyr,  and  having  burnt  and  destroyed 
the  country  thereabouts,  they  besieged  and  took  the  castle  of 
Aberlhychwr,  but  finding  they  could  not  keep  it,  they  razed 
it  to  the  ground,  and  after  that  returned  home  with  great 
booty  to  Dynevawr,  and  repaired  the  fortifications  of  the 
castle  there.f  About  the  same  time  also,  Howel,  Prince 
Owen  Gwynedh's  son,  fortified  Humphry's  castle  in  the 
valley  of  Caletwr. 

1151.      But  the  following  year  Prince  Owen  did  a  very  barbarous 
action  to  Cunetha,  his  brother  Cadwalhon's  son ;  for,  being 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  202.— Hist.  Gwedir  Family,  p.  4. 
f  The  ancient  palace  of  their  ancestors. 


apprehensive  lest  this  young  man  should  lay  claim  to  any 
part  of  his  estate  as  his  father's  right,  he  first  pulled  out  his 
eyes,  and  afterwards  castrated  him,  that  he  should  not  beget 
any  children  to  renew  a  claim  to  Cadwalhon's  estate.*  This 
inhuman  severity  was  succeeded  by  another  of  no  small 
remark;  Lhewelyn,  son  to  Madoc  ap  Meredith,  having 
watched  a  convenient  opportunity,  set  upon  and  slew  Stephen 
the  son  of  Baldwin  :  but  Cadwalader,  Prince  Owen's 
brother,  after  a  tedious  imprisonment  which  he  had  sus- 
tained through  the  malice  and  rancour  of  his  nephew  Howel, 
at  length  made  his  escape,  and  flying  to  the  Isle  of  Angle- 
sey, brought  a  considerable  part  of  that  island  under  his 
subjection.  Prince  Owen  hearing  that  his  brother  had 
escaped  from  custody,  and  that  he  was  in  actual  possession 
of  a  great  part  of  Anglesey,  immediately  dispatched  an  army 
over,  which  proving  too  formidable  to  Cadwalader's  party, 
he  was  constrained  to  escape  to  England,  and  to  desire 
succour  from  the  relations  of  his  wife,  who  was  the  daughter 
of  Gilbert  Earl  of  Clare.f  This  year  Galfrede  Arthur, 
commonly  called  Geoffrey  of  Monmouth,  was  made  bishop 
of  St.  Asaph,  and  at  the  same  time  Simon  Archdeacon  of 
Cyfeilioc,  a  man  of  great  worth  and  esteem  in  his  country, 

The  year  following,  Meredith  and  Rhys,  the  sons  of At  D- 1152' 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  Prince  of  South  Wales,  laid  siege  to 
Penwedic  castle,  which  belonged  to  Howel,  Prince  Owen's 
son,  and  after  great  pains  and  considerable  loss  of  men  on 
their  side,  at  last  made  themselves  masters  of  it.  From 
thence  they  marched  by  night  to  Tenby,  and  unexpectedly 
falling  upon  the  castle,  of  which  one  Fitzgerald  was 
governor,  they  scaled  the  walls  before  the  garrison  were 
aware  of  any  danger,  and  so  possessing  themselves  of  the 
castle,  they  fell  upon  the  garrison,  in  revenge  of  the  mis- 
chief they  had  done  and  further  designed  to  their  brother 
Cadelh  :  for  Cadelh  at  this  time  was  gone  upon  a  pilgrimage, 
and  during  his  absence  had  committed  his  whole  inheritance 
and  all  other  concerns  in  Wales  to  the  care  of  his  brethren, 
Meredith  and  Rhys.  After  the  taking  of  Tenby  castle, 
they  divided  their  army  into  two  parties,  with  one  of  which 
Rh}7s  marched  to  Ystratcongen;  and  after  great  havock  and 
waste  committed  there,  he  passed  to  Cyfeilioc,  which  fared 
in  like  manner  with  Ystratcongen.  Meredith,  with  the 
other  party,  encamped  before  Aberavan  castle,  and  after  a 
short  siege  won  and  got  possession  of  it,  and  then  returned 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  203. 
t  Memoirs  of  Gwedir  Family,  p.  5.— Welsh  Chron.  203. 


home  with  very  considerable  booty  and  many  rich  spoils. 
About  the  same  time,  Randal  Earl  of  Chester,  who  had 
lived  in  continual  enmity  and  frequent  hostility  with  Prince 
Owen  of  North  Wales,  departed  this  life,  leaving  his  son 
Hugh  to  enjoy  both  his  titles  and  estate  in  England,  and  to 
prosecute  the  feuds  and  hostilities  against  the  Welsh. 
A. p.  1153.  Shortly  after  died  Meredith,  son  to  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys, 
Prince  of  South  Wales,  who  was  Lord  of  Cardigan,  Ystrat- 
ywy,  and  Dyfed,  being  not  passed  the  twenty-fifth  year  of 
his  age;  a  person  of  incomparable  valour  and  enterprize, 
and  in  all  his  attempts  and  achievements  very  fortunate. 
He  was  presently  followed  by  Geoffrey  Bishop  of  Llandaff, 
a  man  as  famous  for  learning  and  a  good  life  as  the  other 
was  for  masculine  bravery  and  martial  prowess.  In  Eng- 
land the  face  of  things  looked  very  lowering ;  Henry,  sur- 
named  Shortmantle,  the  empress's  son,  landed  in  England, 
and  in  his  progress  through  the  country  took  several  castles, 
among  which  were  Malmesbury,  Wallingford,  and  Shrews- 
bury :  but  his  fury  was  quickly  appeased  by  the  death  of 
Eustace,  King  Stephen's  son,  so  that  the  sole  obstacle  to 
his  succeeding  to  the  throne  being  now  removed,  he  wil- 
lingly concluded  a  peace  with  King  Stephen,  permitting 
him  to  enjoy  the  crown  peaceably  for  his  life,  upon  condi- 

1154.  tion  that  he   should    be  declared    his   successor.      King 
Stephen  did  not  long  survive  this  treaty ;  and  then  Henry 
Plantagenet,  the  Empress's  son,  was  crowned  in  his  stead. 

1155.  Towards  the  beginning  of  King  Henry's  reign,   Rhys 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  King  of  South  Wales,  upon  apprehen- 
sion that   Owen  Gwynedh  had  raised  an    army   for    the 
conquest  of  South  Wales,  drew  together  all  his  strength, 
and  marched  to  Aberdyfi  to  face  the  enemy  upon  their  own 
borders :  but  finding  the  rumour  to  be  false,  and  that  the 
prince  of  North  Wales  had  no  such  design  in  hand,  having 
built  a  castle  at  Aberdyfi,  which  might  defend  the  frontiers 
from  any  future  attempt  on  his  country,  he  returned  back 
without  attempting  any  thing  farther.     At  the  same  time, 
Madoc  ap  Meredith  built  a  castle  at  Caereneon  near  Cymer, 
and  then  Eglwys  Fair*  in  Meivod  was  founded.      About 
this    time    also,    Meyric,    nephew  to  Prince  Madoc    ap 
Meredith,  made  his  escape  out  of  prison,  wherein  he  had 
been  detained  by  his  uncle  for  a  considerable  time. 

The  same  year,  King  Henry,  being  displeased  with  the 
Flemings,  whom  his  predecessor  King  Stephen  had  brought 
over  into  England,  issued  a  proclamation,  charging  the 
greatest  part  of  them  to  depart  his  dominions,  and  to  retire 


*  For  Mair— Saint  Mary's  Church. 


to  their  countrymen  in  West  Wales,  where  his  grandfather, 
Henry  the  First,  the  bastard's  son,  had  planted  them  :*  and 
thus  that  part  of  Wales  called  Pembrokeshire  was  over-run 
with  these  strangers,  who,  being  more  befriended  by  the 
kings  of  England  than  the  Welsh  could  expect  to  be,  made 
sure  footing  in  that  country,  where  they  have  ever  since 
continued  firm.  It  was  the  English  policy  of  those  times  to 
accept  any  opportunity  to  curb  and  keep  under  the  Welsh, 
whom  they  found  by  experience  to  be  unsafe  neighbours, 
and  therefore  the  kings  of  England  granted  various  lands 
and  privileges  in  Wales  to  any  that  would  receive  them, 
which  lands  and  privileges  they  had  of  right  no  power  to 

This,  however,  was  not  detrimental  enough  to  the  Welsh ;  A- D- 1156> 
for  the  year  following  King  Henry  raised  a  very  great 
army,  which  he  gathered  from  all  parts  of  England,  for  the 
purpose  of  subduing  all  North  Wales,f  being  principally 
moved  hereto  by  the  instigation  of  Cadwalader  the  prince's 
brother,  whom  Owen  Gwynedh,  for  reasons  not  known, 
deprived  of  his  estate,  and  banished  the  country.  Madoc 
ap  Meredith  Prince  of  Powys  (who  maligned  the  liberty 
and  privilege  of  the  princes  of  North  Wales,  who  owned 
subjection  to  no  other  than  the  king  of  England,  whereas 
those  of  Powys  were  obliged  to  do  homage  to  the  prince  of 
North  Wales)  also  jointly  consented  to  this  invitation. 
The  king  of  England  accepted  their  proposals,  led  his 
army  to  West-Chester,  and  encamped  upon  the  marsh 
called  Saltney,  which  borders  on  the  river  Dee,  in  Welsh 
Morfa-Caer-Lleon.  Prince  Owen,  all  this  while,  was  not 
ignorant  of  the  intended  invasion ;  and  therefore  having 
made  all  possible  preparations  to  confront  the  enemy,  he 
marched  his  army  to  the  frontiers  of  England,  and,  encamp- 
injg  at  Basingwerk,J  resolved  to  give  the  English  battle. 
King  Henry  being  informed  of  the  prince's  resolution, 
detached  some  of  the  best  troops  out  of  the  main  body, 
under  the  command  of  several  earls  and  other  noblemen, 
and  sent  them  towards  the  prince's  camp :  but  after  they 
had  advanced  some  little  way,  and  were  passing  through  a 
wood  called  Coed-Eulo,§  David  and  Conan,  Prince  Owen's 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  205. 

f  Such  were  the  mighty  preparations  which  this  prince  made  for  the  conquest  of 
Wales,  that  he  compelled  every  two  of  his  military  vassals  throughout  England  to  find  a 
soldier  to  reinforce  his  army,  and  to  enable  him  with  greater  vigour  to  prosecute  the  war. 
— Matth.  Paris,  p.  81.  There  were  sixty  thousand  knights'  fees  created  by  the  Con- 
queror, which  must  make  the  levy  of  Henry  raised  at  this  time  30,000  men.— Hume's 
Hist.  Eng.  vol.  ii.  p  2.  Appendix,  p.  141. 

I  Near  Holywell,  in  the  county  of  Flint.  §  Near  Hawarden. 


sons,  unexpectedly  set  upon  them,  and  by  the  advantage  of 
the  ground  and  the  suddenness  of  the  action,  the  English 
were  repulsed  with  great  slaughter,  and  those  who  survived 
narrowly  escaped  to  the  king's  camp.*     This  was  a  very 
unwelcome  beginning  to  King  Henry ;  but  in  order  that  he 
might  succeed  better  hereafter,  he  thought  it  advisable  to 
depart  from  Saltney  and  to  arrange  his  troops  along  the  sea- 
coast,   thinking  thereby  to  get  betwixt  Prince  Owen  and 
his  country,  which  if  he  could  effect,  he  thought  he  was 
sure  to  place  the  Welsh  in  a  state  of  very  great  inconveni- 
ence :  but  the  prince,  foreseeing  the  danger  of  this,  retired 
with  his  army  to  a  place  called  Cil  Owen,  that  is,  Owen's 
Retreat,  which  when  King  Henry  perceived,    he  relin- 
Lib.  2.  quished  his  design,  and  proceeded  to  Ruthlan.     W.  Parnus 
cap.  5.  writes,  that  in  this  expedition  against  the  Welsh,  King 
Henry  was  in  great  danger  of  his  life,  in  passing  through  a 
strait  at  Counsyllt  near  Flint,  where  Henry  Earl  of  Essex, 
who  by  inheritance  enjoyed  the  office  of  bearing  the  stand- 
ard of  England,  being  attacked  by  the  enemy,  cast  down 
the  same  and  fled.f     This  accident  encouraged  the  Welsh, 
and  they  bore  down  so  violently,   that  the  king  himself 
narrowly  escaped,  having  of  his  party  Eustace  Fitz-John 
and  Robert  Curcie,  two  valiant    knights,   together    with 
several  others  of  his  nobility  and  gentry,  slain  in  the  action.^ 
After  this,  Prince  Owen  decamped  from  Cil  Owen,  and 
intrenched  himself  upon  Bryn  y  Pin,§  where  little  of  moment 
passed  between  the  two  armies,  but  some  slight  skirmishes 
happened  frequently.     King  Henry  in  the  mean  time  forti- 
fied the  castle  of  Ruthlan,  and  during  his  stay  there,  Madoc 
ap  Meredith,  Prince  of  Powys,  sailed  with  the  English  fleet 
to  Anglesey,  and  having  put  some  men  on  shore,  they  burnt 
two  churches,  and  ravaged  part  of  the  country  about :  but 
they  paid  very  dear  for  it,  for  all  the  strength  of  the  island 
being  met  together,  they  fell  upon  them  in  their  return  to 
their  ships,  and  cut  them  off,  so  that  not  one  remained  to 
bring  tidings  to  the  fleet  of  what  had  befel  him.     They  on 
board,  however,  quickly  perceived  what  had  happened,  and 
therefore  thought  it  not  very  safe  to  continue  on  that  coast, 


*  Welsh  Chron  p.  206. 

•f-  The  year  following,  Essex  was  accused  of  high  treason  by  Roger  de  Montford  5  and 
being  vanquished  by  him  in  a  single  combat,  which  happened  in  consequence,  he  was 
condemned  to  death  by  King  Henry,  though  the  severity  of  the  sentence  was  after- 
wards mitigated  by  that  prince :  his  estate,  however,  was  confiscated,  and,  after  being 
shorn  like  a  monk,  he  was  confined  during  his  life  in  a  convent. — Lord  Lyttelton's  History 
of  Henry  II. 

J  Holinshead's  Chron.  p.  67—  Chronica  Gervasii  p.  1380. 

§  A  stronger  post,  situate  three  miles  west  of  St.  Asaph. — Stowe's  Chron.  p.  109:  a 
manuscript  copy  in  Welsh,  by  Caradoc  of  Llancarvan. 


but  judging  it  more  adviseable  to  weigh  anchor,  they  set  sail 
for  Chester;*  when  they  were  arrived  thither,  they  found 
that  a  peace  was  actually  concluded  betwixt  King  Henry 
and  Prince  Owen,  upon  condition  that  Cadwalader  should 
have  all  his  lands  restored  to  him  and  be  received  to  the 
favour  and  friendship  of  his  brother.  Then  King  Henry, 
leaving  the  castles  of  Ruthlan  and  Basin gwerk  well  manned 
and  fortified,  and  having  near  the  latter  founded  a  public 
structure  for  the  order  of  Knights  Templars,  returned  to 
England:  but  the  troubles  of  Wales  did  not  end  with  his 
expedition,  for  lorwerdh  Goch  ap  Meredith,  who  had  taken 
part  with  the  king  of  England  during  this  war,  laid  siege  to 
the  castle  of  Yale,  which  was  built  by  Prince  Owen^  and, 
making  himself  master  of  it,  rased  it  to  the  ground. 

The  next  year  commenced  with  a  very  unfortunate  action :  A- D- 1157* 
Ifor  ap  Meyric  having  long  before  cast  a  very  wishful  eye 
upon  the  land  and  estate  of  Morgan  ap   Owen,   was  now 
resolved  to  put  in  execution  what  he  had  before  contrived, 
and,  as  covetousness  seldom  bears  any  regard  to  virtue  or 
honour,  he  treacherously  attacked  him  and  slew  him ;  and 
with  him  fell  Gurgan  ap  Rhys,  the  most  famous  British 
poet  of  his  time.     Morgan's  estate  Ifor  bestowed  upon  his 
brother  lorwerth,  who  about  the  same  time  got  also  posses- 
sion of  the  town  of  Caer-Lheon.     These  home-bred  dis- 
turbances were  mitigated  by  a  general  peace,   which  was 
shortly  after  this  time  concluded  betwixt  the  king  of  Eng- 
land  and   all  the  princes  and   lords   of  Wales,   Rhys  ap 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  Prince  of  South  Wales  only  excepted  :f 
for  this  Prince  Rhys,  who  probably  would  not  rely  impli- 
citly upon  the  king  of  England's  fidelity,  refused  to  consent 
to  a  peace ;  but  to  secure  himself  as  well  as  he  could  from 
the  English,  whom  he  had  too  much  reason  to  fear,  he 
thought  it  most  prudent  to  issue  orders,  commanding  his 
subjects  to   remove  their  cattle  and  other  effects  to   the 
wilderness  of  Tywy,  where  they   were    likely  to    remain 
secure  from  the  eyes  and  reach  of  the  enemy.     He  had  not, 
however,  continued  there  Ions;,  when  he  received  a  more 
positive  and  express  order  from  King  Henry,  commanding 
him  to  appear  forthwith  at  court,  and  to  accept  the  pro- 
posals of  peace,   before  the  joint  forces  of  England  and 
Wales  were  sent  to  fetch  him.      Prince  Rhys  having  re- 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  207.— Giraldus  Cambr.  Itin.  lib.  ii.  cap.  7.  William  Newburgh, 
lib.  ii.  cap.  5.  Brompton's  Chron.  p.  1048. 

t  Rhys  was  the  eldest  of  six  towardly  sons,  which  his  father  Gruffydd  had  by 
Gwenllian,  the  fair  daughter  of  Gruffydd  ap  Conan  Prince  of  North  Wales,  and, 
surviving  them  all,  obtained  the  dominion  of  South  Wales.— Pantou  Papers. 


ceived  such  a  threatening  message,  thought  fit  to  relinquish 
the  design  that  he  had  before  so  rashly  resolved  upon,  and 
therefore,  after  long  consultation,  he  accepted  the  king's 
proposal  and  appeared  at  court.  It  was  there  agreed,  that 
Khys,  whose  lands  heretofore  lay  scattered  about  and  were 
intermixed  with  other  persons'  estates,  should  enjoy  Cantref 
Mawr,  and  any  other  Cantref  which  the  king  should  be 
pleased  to  bestow  upon  him :  but  contrary  to  this  article, 
the  king  assigned  him  several  lordships  and  other  lands  far 
remote  from  each  other,  and  particularly  intermixed  them 
with  the  estates  of  Englishmen,  who  he  was  sure  would  be  a 
watch  and  a  curb  to  all  the  motions  of  Prince  Rhys.  This 
was  indeed  a  very  politick  contrivance  of  King  Henry  to 
keep  the  high  and  restless  spirit  of  Rhys  in  subjection ;  but 
the  justice  of  the  transaction  does  not  so  evidently  appear 
in  thus  breaking  one  of  the  chief  articles  of  the  peace,  and 
dismembering  and  bestowing  that  which  was  not  justly  in 
his  power  to  give :  it  is,  however,  manifestly  apparent  that 
the  English  of  these  times  were  mainly  determined  right  or 
wrong  to  oppress  and  keep  under  the  Welsh,  whose  mortal 
dislike  to  subjection  they  had  so  frequently  and  so  cruelly 
experienced.  Prince  Rh}-s  was  not  ignorant  of  these 
wrongful  and  deceitful  dealings  of  King  Henry,  but  know- 
ing himself  to  be  unable  to  redress  these  grievances,  he 
thought  it  more  advisable  for  a  time  to  live  in  peace  with  a 
little  than  rashly  to  hazard  all.  In  a  short  time,  however, 
he  had  opportunity  either  of  demanding  redress  from  the 
king  or  of  endeavouring  to  obtain  it  himself  by  force  of 
arms :  for  as  soon  as  Roger  Earl  of  Clare  was  informed  of 
the  distribution  which  the  king  of  England  had  granted  to 
Prince  Rhys,  he  came  to  King  Henry,  requesting  his 
majesty  to  grant  him  such  lands  in  Wales  as  he  could  win 
by  force  of  arms.  The  king  readily  complied  with  his 
request,  being  always  willing  to  grant  any  thing  which 
tended  to  curb  and  incommode  the  Welsh ;  and  therefore 
the  Earl  of  Clare  marched  with  a  great  army  into  Cardigan, 
and  having  fortified  the  castles  of  Ystrad-Meyric,  Humphrey, 
Dyfi,  Dynerth,  and  Lhanrhystyd,  he  made  several  incur- 
sions into  the  country.  In  the  same  manner,  Walter 
Clifford,  who  was  governor  of  Lhanymdhyfri  castle,  made 
inroads  into  the  territories  of  Prince  Khys,  and  after  he  had 
slain  several  of  the  Welsh,  and  made  great  waste  in  the 
country,  returned  with  considerable  booty. 

Prince  Rhys,  as  he  was  unable  to  bear  these  outrages, 
was  resolved  either  to  have  immediate  redress  or  else  to 
proclaim  open  war  against  the  English;  and  therefore  he 



sent  an  express  to  King  Henry,  complaining  of  the  hostilities 
which  his  subjects  (the  Earl  of  Clare  and  Walter  Clifford) 
had  committed  in  his  country;  but  finding  that  the  king 
put  him  still  off  with  only  smooth  words  and  fair  promises, 
and  that  he  always  winked  at  the  faults  of  the  English  and 
Normans,  he,  without  any  farther  consultation  about  the 
matter,  laid  siege  to  the  castle  of  Lhanymdhyfri,  and  in  a 
short  time  made  himself  master  of  it.  Also  Eineon,  the 
son  of  Anarawd,  Rhys's  brother's  son,  and  a  person  of  great 
valour,  being  desirous  to  free  his  country  from  the  miserable 
servitude  they  now  groaned  under,  and  judging  withal  that 
his  uncle  was  now  discharged  from  the  oath  he  had  lately 
sworn  to  the  king  of  England,  attacked  the  castle  of 
Humphrey,  and  having  forcibly  made  his  entrance  into  it, 
he  put  all  the  garrison  to  the  sword,  where  he  found  a  great 
number  of  horses,  and  armour  wherewith  to  equip  a  consi- 
derable body  of  men.  Whilst  Eineon  was  thus  engaged  at 
Humphrey's  castle,  Prince  Rhys,  perceiving  that  he  could 
not  enjoy  any  part  of  his  inheritance  but  what  he  obtained 
by  the  sword,  drew  all  his  power  together  and  entered 
Cardigan,  where,  like  a  violent  torrent,  he  over-ran  the 
country,  so  that  he  left  not  one  castle  standing  of  those 
which  'his  enemies  had  fortified,  and  thus  brought  all  the 
country  to  his  subjection.  King  Henry  being  much  of- 
fended at  the  progress  which  Prince  Rhys  so  suddenly  made 
against  him,  returned  with  a  great  army  into  South  Wales,, 
but  finding  it  to  no  purpose  to  attempt  any  thing  against 
the  Prince,  he  thought  it  more  advisable  to  permit  him  to 
retain  all  that  he  had  won,  and  only  to  take  hostages*  for 
his  keeping  peace  during  his  absence  out  of  the  kingdom, 
which  Prince  Rhys  promising  to  do,  lie  forthwith  returned 
to  England,  and  soon  after  went  to  Normandy,  where  he 
concluded  a  peace  with  the  French  king. 

The  year  following,  Prince  Rhys  of  South  Wales,  with-  A.  D.  1158. 
out  any  regard  to  his  promise  made  to  King  Henry  the 
preceding  year,  led  his  forces  to  Dyfed,  destroyed  all 
the  castles  that  the  Normans  had  fortified  in  that  country, 
and  then  laid  siege  to  Caermardhyn ;  but  Reynold  Earl  of 
Bristol,  the  king's  illegitimate  son,  being  informed  of  it, 
called  together  the  Earl  of  Clare,  his  brother-in-law  Cad- 
walader,  Prince  Owen  of  North  Wales's  brother,  Howel 
and  Conan  (Owen's  sons),  with  two  Earls  more,  who  with 
their  joint  forces  marched  to  raise  the  siege.  Prince  Rhys 
was  too  prudent  to  abide  their  coming,  and  therefore,  upon 


JVI  2 

*  He  was  obliged  to  deliver  up  his  iwo  sons  as  pledges  for  his  future  obedience.— 
Lord  Lyttelton's  Henry  II.  vol.  ii.  p.  79. 


the  first  intimation  of  such  an  opposition,  he  retired  to  the 
mountains  called  Cefn  Rester  and  there  encamped,  being 
sufficiently  secure  from  any  enemy  by  the  natural  fortifica- 
tion of  the  place.  The  confederate  army  lay  at  Dynwylhir, 
and  there  built  a  castle ;  but  hearing  no  tidings  of  Prince 
Rhys,  they  returned  home  without  effecting  any  thing  of 
note.*  King  Henry  was  still  in  Normandy,  and  there  made 
war  against  the  Earl  of  St.  Giles  for  the  city  and  earldom 
of  Tholouse. 

A.D.  1160.  Towards  the  beginning  of  this  year,  Madoc  ap  Meredith 
ap  Blethyn,  Prince  of  Powys,  died  at  Winchester,  whence 
his  body  was  honourably  conveyed  to  Powys  and  buried  at 
Meivod.f  He  was  a  Prince  very  much  affected  to  piety 
and  religion,  very  charitable  to  the  necessitous,  and  benevo- 
lent to  the  distressed;  but  his  great  fault  was,  that  he 
strove  too  hard  for  the  interest  of  the  English,  and  was 
always  in  confederacy  with  King  Henry  against  the  good 
success  of  his  native  country.  He  had  issue  by  his  wife 
Susanna,  the  daughter  of  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of 
North  Wales,  three  sons,  Gruftydh  Maylor,  Owen,  and 
Elis,  and  a  daughter  named  Marred.  He  had  also  three 
natural  sons,  Owen  Brogynton,  Cynwric  Efelh,  and  Eineon 
Efelh,  who  though  base  born,  yet  according  to  the  custom 
of  Wales,  co-inherited  with  their  brethren  who  were 

And  here  it  will  not  be  amiss  to  give  a  particular  account 
of  that  portion  of  the  principality,  afterwards  known  as  the 
Lordships  of  Powys,  how  it  came  to  be  divided  into  many 
shares,  and  by  that  means  became  so  irrecoverably  broken 
and  weakened,  that  it  was  made  subject  to  the  Normans 
before  the  rest  of  Wales  ;  for  Powys  before  King  Offa's 
time  reached  eastwards  to  the  rivers  Severn  and  Dee,  in  a 
right  line  from  the  end  of  Broxton  hills  to  Salop,  and  com- 
prehended all  the  country  between  the  Wye  and  Severn, 
which  was  anciently  the  estate  of  Brochwel  Yscithroc,  of 
whom  mention  has  been  made  in  this  work :  but  after  the 
making  of  Offa's  dike,  Powys  was  contracted  into  a  narrower 
compass,  the  plain  country  towards  Salop  being  inhabited 
by  Saxons  and  Normans,  so  that  the  length  of  it  com- 
mencing north-east  from  Pulford  bridge  extended  to 
LlangiricJ  parish  on  the  confines  of  Cardiganshire  to  the 
south-west,  and  the  breadth  from  the  farthest  part  of 
Cyfeilioc  westward,  to  Ellesmere  on  the  east-side.  This 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  210. 

f  Meivod  in  Montgomeryshire,  the  usual  burying-place  of  his  family. — From  this  period 
the  descendants  of  the  princes  of  South  Wales  possessed  no  sovereign  authority. 

J  Llangerig. 


principality,  Roderic  the  Great  gave  to  his  youngest  son 
Merfyn,  in  whose  posterity  it  remained  entire,  till  the  death 
of  Blethyn  ap  Confyn,  who  divided  it  betwixt  his  sons 
Meredith  and  Cadwgan;  yet  it  came  again  whole  and 
entire  to  the  possession  of  Meredith  ap  Blethyn,  but  he 
again  broke  the  union,  and  left  it  between  his  two  sons 
Madawc  and  Gruflfydh ;  the  first  of  whom  was  married  to 
Susanna,  the  daughter  of  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Prince  of 
North  Wales,  and  had  with  her  that  part,  afterwards  called 
by  his  name — Powys  Fadoc.  After  his  death  this  lordship 
was  divided  also  betwixt  his  sons  Gruflfydh  Maelor,  Owen 
ap  Madawc,  and  Owen  Brogynton,  which  last,  though  base 
born,  had,  for  his  incomparable  valour  and  courage,  a  share 
of  his  father's  estate,  namely,  Edeyrneon  and  Dinmael, 
which  he  left  to  his  sons  Gruffydh,  Blethyn,  and  lorwerth. 
Owen  ap  Madawc  had  to  his  portion  Mechain-is-Coed,  and 
had  issue  Lhewelyn  and  Owen  Fychan.  Gruffydh  Maelor, 
the  eldest  son,  Lord  of  Bromfield,  had  to  his  part,  both  the 
Maelors  with  Mochnant-is-Raydar,  and  married  Angharad, 
the  daughter  of  Owen  Gwynedh,  Prince  of  North  Wales, 
by  whom  he  had  issue  one  son  named  Madawc,  who  held 
his  father's  inheritance  entirely,  and  left  it  so  to  his  only  son 
Gruffydh,  who  was  called  Lord  of  Dinas  Bran,  because  he 
lived  in  that  castle:  he  married  Emma,  the  daughter  of 
James  Lord  Audley,  by  whom  "he  had  issue  Madawc, 
Lhewelyn,  Gruffydh,  and  Owen.  This  Gruffydh  ap 
Madawc  took  part  with  King  Henry  the  Third  and 
Edward  the  First  against  the  Prince  of  North  Wales ;  and, 
therefore,  for  fear  of  the  said  prince,  he  was  forced  to  keep 
himself  secure  within  his  castle  of  Dinas  Bran,  which  being 
situated  upon  the  summit  of  a  very  steep  hill,  seemed 
impregnable  to  all  efforts  that  could  be  used  against  it. 
After  his  death,  Edward  the  First  dealt  very  unkindly  with 
his  children,  who  were  of  age  to  manage  their  own 
concerns  ;  and  it  nas  been  said  that  he  caused  two  of  them 
to  be  privately  made  away.  He  bestowed  the  wardship  of 
Madoc,  the  eldest  son,  who  had  by  his  father's  will  the 
Lordships  of  Bromfield  and  Yale,  with  the  reversion  of 
Maelor  Saesnec,  Hopesdale,  and  Mouldsdale,  his  mother's 
jointure,  on  John  Earl  Warren  ;  and  the  wardship  of 
Lhewelyn,  to  whose  share  fell  the  Lordships  of  Chirk  e  and 
Nanheudwy,  he  gave  to  Roger  Mortimer,  third  son  to 
Roger  Mortimer  the  son  of  Ralph  Mortimer,  Lord  Mor- 
timer of  Wigmor :  but  Emma,  Gruffydh's  wife,  having  in 
her  possession,  for  her  dowry,  Maelor  Saesnec,  Hopesdale, 
and  Mouldsdale,  with  the  presentation  of  Bangor  rectory, 



and  seeing  two  of  her  sons  disinherited  and  put  away,  and 
the  fourth  dead  without  issue,  and  doubting  lest  Gruffydh 
her  only  surviving  child  should  not  long  continue,  she 
conveyed  her  estate  to  the  Audleys,  her  own  kindred,  who 
getting  possession  of  it,  took  the  same  from  the  king,  and 
from  them  it  came  to  the  house  of  Derby,  where  it  continued 
for  a  long  time-  till  at  length  it  was  sold  to  Sir  John 
Glynne,  serjeant-at-law,  in  whose  family  it  still  remaineth. 
Earl  Warren  and  Roger  Mortimer  forgetting  wrhat  signal 
service  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc  had  performed  for  the  king, 
guarded  their  new  possessions  with  such  caution  and  strict- 
ness, that  they  took  especial  care  they  should  never  return 
to  any  of  the  posterity  of  the  legal  proprietor  ;  and,  there- 
fore, having  obtained  the  king's  patent,  they  began  to 
secure  themselves  in  the  said  lordships.  John  Earl  War- 
ren commenced  building  Holt  castle,  which  was  finished  by 
his  son  William,  and  so  the  Lordships  of  Bromfield  and 
Yale  continued  in  the  name  of  the  Earls  of  Warren  for 
three  descents,  viz.  John,  William,  and  John,  who  dying 
without  issue,  the  said  lordships,  together  with  the  Earl- 
dom of  Warren,  descended  to  Alice,  sister  and  heir  to  the 
last  John  Earl  Warren,  who  was  married  to  Edmond  Fitz 
Alan,  Earl  of  Arundel,  in  whose  house  they  further 
remained  for  three  descents,  namely,  Edmund,  Richard, 
Richard  his  son,  and  Thomas  Earl  of  Arundel;  but  for 
want  of  issue  to  this  last,  Thomas  Earl  of  Arundel  and 
Warren,  the  said  lordships  fell  to  two  of  his  sisters, 
whereof  one  named  Elizabeth,  was  married  to  Thomas 
Mowbray,  Duke  of  Norfolk,  and  the  other  called  Joan, 
to  William  Beauchamp,  Lord  of  Abergavenny  :  and 
subsequently  they  came  to  the  hands  of  Sir  William  Stan- 
ley, Knight,  who  being  attainted  of  high  treason,  they 
devolved  by  forfeiture  to  the  crown,  and  now  are  annexed  to 
the  principality  of  Wales.  Roger  Mortimer,  the  other 
sharer  in  the  lands  of  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc,  was  made 
Justice  of  North  Wales,  built  the  castle  of  Chirk,  and 
married  Lucia,  the  daughter  and  heir  of  Sir  Robert  de 
Wafre,  Knight,  by  whom  he  had  issue  Roger  Mortimer, 
who  was  married  to  Joan  Tubervill,  by  whom  he  had  John 
Mortimer,  Lord  of  Chirk.  This  John  sold  the  Lordship 
of  Chirk  to  Richard  Fitz  Alan,  Earl  of  Arundel,  Edmund's 
son,  and  so  it  was  again  annexed  to  Bromfield  and  Yale. 

The  third  son  of  Gruffydh  Lord  of  Dinas  Br&n,  named 
also  Gruffydh,  had  for  his  part  Glyndwrdwy,  which 
Gruffydh  ap  Gruffydh  had  issue  Madoc  Crupl,  who  was  the 
father  of  Madoc  Fychan,  the  father  of  Gruffydh,  the  father 



of  Gruffydh  Fychan,  who  was  the  father  of  Owen  Glyndwr, 
who  rebelling  in  the  days  of  Henry  the  Fourth,  Glyndwrdwy 
by  confiscation  came  to  the  King,  of  whom  it  was  afterwards 
purchased  by  Robert  Salisbury  of  Rug,  to  whose  descend- 
ants it  still  remaineth,  having  passed,  through  heirs  female, 
into  the  family  of  Vaughan  of  Nannau.  Owen,  the  fourth 
son  of  Gruffydh  Lord  of  Dinas  Bran,  had  for  his  share 
Cynlhaeth,  with  the  rights  and  privileges  thereunto  belong- 
ing. The  other  part  of  Powys,  comprehending  the  coun- 
tries of  Arustly,  Cyfeilioc,  Lhannerch-hudol,  Caereineon, 
Mochnant-uwch-Rhayadr,  Mechain-uwch-Coed,  Moudhwy, 
Deudhwr,  Ystrad  Marchelch,  and  Teir-Tref  or  the  Three 
Towns,  rightfully  descended  to  Gruffydh  ap  Meredith  ap 
Blethyn,  by  Henry  the  First  created  Lord  Powys,  who 
married  Gweyrvyl  or  Weyrvyl  the  daughter  of  Urgene  ap 
Howel  ap  lefaf  ap  Cadogan  ap  Athelstan  Glodryth,  by 
whom  he  had  issue  Owen  surnamed  Cyfeilioc.  This  Owen 
enjoyed  his  father's  estate  entire,  and  married  Gwenlhian 
the  daughter  of  Owen  Gwynedh  Prince  of  North  Wales, 
who  bore  him  one  son,  named  Gwenwynwyn  or  Wenwyn- 
wyn,  from  whom  that  part  of  Powys  was  afterwards  called 
Powys  Wenwynwyn.  He  had  also  an  illegitimate  brother 
called  Caswalhon,  upon  whom  was  bestowed  the  lands  of 
Swydh  Lhannerch-hudol,  and  Broniarth.  Gwenwynwyn 
succeeded  his  father  in  all  his  estate,  excepting  the  portion 
given  to  Caswalhon,  and  married  Margaret  the  daughter 
of  Rhys  ap  Theodore  Prince  of  South  Wales,  by  whom  lie 
had  Gruffydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn,  who  succeeding  his  father 
in  all  his  possessions,  had  issue  six  sons,  by  Margaret  the 
daughter  of  Robert  Corbet,  brother  to  Thomas  Lord  Corbet 
of  Cause ;  and  so  the  entire  estate  of  Gruffydh  ap  Meredith 
ap  Blethyn  Lord  of  Powys  became  scattered,  and  shred  into 
various  portions.  Owen,  Gruffydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn's 
eldest  son,  had  for  his  part  Arustly,  Cyfeilioc,  Lhannerch- 
hudol,  and  a  part  of  Caereineon  ;  Lhewelyn  had  Mochnant- 
uwch-Rhayadr  and  Mechain-uwch-Coed ;  John,  the  third 
son,  had  the  fourth  part  of  Caereineon;  William  had 
Moudhwy;  Gruffydh  Fychan  had  Deudhwr,  Ystrat-Mar- 
chelh,  and  Teir  Tref ;  and  David,  the  sixth  and  youngest 
son,  had  the  other  fourth  part  of  Caereineon.  Owen  ap 
Gruffydh  had  issue  only  one  daughter,  named  Hawys 
Gadarn,  or  the  Hardy,  whom  he  left  his  heir;  but  her 
uncles  Lhewelyn,  John,  Gruffydh  Fychan,  and  David, 
thinking  it  an  easy  matter  to  dispossess  an  orphan,  claimed 
the  lands  of  their  brother  Owen,  alleging  as  the  ground  of 
their  usurpation,  that  a  woman  was  not  capable  of  holding 



any  lands  in  that  country :  but  Hawys  had  friends  in  Eng- 
land, and  her  case  was  made  known  to  King  Edward  the 
Second,  who  bestowed  her  in  marriage  upon  a  servant  of 
his,*  named  John  Charleton,  termed  Valectys  domini  regisrf 
who  was  bom  at  Apley  near  Wellington,  in  the  county  of 
Salop,  anno  one  thousand  two  hundred  and  sixty-eight,  and 
in  her  right  the  king  created  him  Lord  Powys. 

This  John  Charleton ,{  Lord  Powys,  being  aided  and  sup- 
ported by  the  King  of  England,  quickly  set  aside  all  the 
measures  of  his  wife's  uncles,  and  having  taken  Lhewelyn, 
John,  and  David,  he  put  them  in  safe  custody,  in  the  king's 
castle  of  Harlech ;  and  then  obtained  a  writ  from  the  king 
to  the  sheriff  of  Shropshire,  and  to  Sir  Roger  Mortimer, 
Lord    of  Chirkland  and  justice  of  North  Wales,  for  the 
apprehension  of  Gruffydh  Fychan,  with  his  sons-in-law,  Sir 
Roger  Chamber  and  Hugh  Montgomery,  who  were  then  in 
actual  hostility   against    him   and    his    wife  Hawys :    but 
Gruffydh  Fychan  and  his  accomplices  doubting  their  own 
strength,  and  haying  lost  Thomas  Earl  of  Lancaster,  their 
main  support,  thought  it  most  adviseable  to  submit  them- 
selves to  the  king's  pleasure,  touching  the  difference  betwixt 
them  and  Hawys ;  who  finding  upon  record  that  Gruffydh 
ap  Meredith,  ancestor  to  the  said  Hawys,  upon  his  sub- 
mission to  King  Henry  the  First,  became  subject  to  the 
King  of  England,   and  thereupon  was  created   Baron   of 
Powys,  which  barony  he  and  his  posterity  had  ever  since 
held  in  capite  from  the  king,  was  of  opinion  that  Hawys  had 
more  right  to  her  father's  possessions,  now  in  their  hands, 
than  any  pretence  they  could  lay  to  her  estate.     To  make, 
therefore,  a  final  determination  of  this  matter,  and  to  com- 
pose the  difference  more   amicably  betwixt  them,   it  was 
agreed  that  Hawys  should  enjoy  her  inheritance   in  fee- 
simple  to  her  and  her  heirs  for  ever,  after  the  tenure  of 
England;  and  that  her  uncles  Lhewelyn,  John,  David,  and 


*  A  gentleman  of  his  chamber, 
f  Valectus  regis :  hence  Valet. — Yorke,  p.  78. 

J  He  was,  says  Mr.  Yorke,  "  the  first  lord  of  an  English  house,  the  son  pf  Sir  Alan 
Charleton,  a  man  of  civil  and  military  habits,  had  attended  his  sovereign,  moreover,  as 
his  chamberlain  in  his  frequent  and  unfortunate  northern  expeditions.  He  followed  for 
a  time  then  the  reforming  factions  of  Lancaster,  the  refuge  and  receptacle  of  all  that  were 
distressed  and  discontented  ;  was  defeated  and  taken  with  them  at  Boroughbridge,  but 
escaped  the  proscriptions  which  ensued ;  came  again  into  favour,  and  suffered  in  the 
insurrection  against  the  king,  when  his  house  was  pillaged  by  the  London  mob.  Our  old 
books  speak  of  him  in  high  esteem  for  his  fidelity,  prudence,  and  valour,  nor  amidst  his 
greater  employments  had  he  neglected  the  interests  and  accommodation  of  his  country- 
men ;  and  he  obtained  from  Edward  the  Second  two  weekly  markets  at  Pool  and 
Machynlleth,  and  two  fairs  in  the  year  at  each  place.  He  died  in  1353,  at  the  age  of 
85  years.  His  wife,  the  Powys  heiress,  died  some  time  before,  and  was  buried  in  the 
dissolved  house  of  the  Grey  Friars  of  her  own  foundation  in  Shrewsbury." — Yorke's 
Royal  Tribes,  p\  79. 


Gruffydh,  should  quietly  enjoy  their  portion,  and  the  same 
to  descend  to  their  heirs  male  perpetually ;  but  in  default  of 
such  heirs  male,  the  same  was  to  descend  to  Hawys  and  her 
heirs  :  but  William  Lord  of  Moudhwy,  the  fourth  brother, 
called  otherwise  Wilcock  Moudhwy,  because  he  did  not 
join  with  the  rest  against  Hawys,  had  all  his  lands  confirmed 
to  him,  and  to  his  heirs  male  and  female  for  ever.  He 
married  Elianor,  the  sister  of  Ellen,  Owen  Glyndwr's 
mother,  who  was  lineally  descended  from  Rhys  ap  Theodore, 
Prince  of  South  Wales,  by  whom  he  had  issue  John  de 
Moudhwy;  whose  daughter  Elizabeth,  being  heir  to  his 
whole  estate,  was  married  to  Sir  Hugh  Burgh,  knight. 
His  son,  Sir  John  Burgh,  Lord  of  Moudhwy,  married  Jane 
the  daughter  of  Sir  William  Clopton  of  Gloucestershire,  by 
whom  he  had  four  daughters,  Elizabeth,  Ancreda,  Isabel, 
and  Elianor;  the  first  of  whom  was  married  to  Thomas 
Newport ;  the  second  to  John  Leighton  of  Stretton ;  the 
third  to  John  Lingen  ;  and  the  younger  to  Thomas  Mytton ; 
who,  by  equal  distribution,  had  the  lordship  of  Moudhwy 
and  other  estates  of  the  Burghs  divided  betwixt  them. 

John  Charleton  Lord  of  Powys  had  issue  by  his  wife 
Hawys  a  son  named  John,*  who  enjoyed  the  same  lordship 
for  about  seven  years,  and  then  left  it  to  his  son,  of  the  same 
name,  who  wras  Lord  of  Powys  fourteen  years ;  and  then  it 
descended  to  his  son,  called  also  John  Charleton,  who  en- 
joyed his  father's  estate  twenty-seven  years;  but  dying 
without  issue,  the  lordship  of  Powys  fell  to  his  brother 
Edward  Charleton.  This  Edward  had  issue  by  his  wife 
Elianor,  the  daughter  and  one  of  the  heirs  of  Thomas  Earl 
of  Kent,  and  the  widow  of  Roger  Mortimer  Earl  of  March, 
two  daughters,  Jane  and  Joyce  ;  the  first  of  which  was 
married  to  Sir  John  Grey,  knight ;  and  the  second  to  John 
Lord  Tiptoft,  whose  son  was  by  King  Henry  VI.  created 
Earl  of  Worcester.  After  the  death  of  Elianor,  this  Edward 
Lord  Powys  married  Elizabeth  the  daughter  of  Sir  John 
Berkeley,  knight;  and  so  after  his  death,  which  happened 
in  the  year  1420,  the  lordship  of  Powys  was  divided  into 
three  parts,  whereof  his  widow  Elizabeth  had  for  her 
jointure  Lhannerch-hudol,  Ystrad  Marchelh,  Deudhwr,  and 
Teir  Tref,  and  was  afterwards  married  to  Lord  Dudley; 
Jane,  his  eldest  daughter,  had  Caereineon,  Mechain,  Moch- 
nant,  and  Plasdinas ;  and  Joyce  had  Cyfeilioc  and  Arustly ; 
but  the  lordship  of  Powys  continued  in  the  family  of  Sir 


*  He  was  summoned  to  parliament  from  the  28th  to  the  47th  of  Edward  the  Third, 
was  Chamberlain  of  the  Household  to  this  king,  as  his  father  had  been  to  his  predecessor, 
and  attended  him  in  that  useless  and  expensive  expedition  to  France  in  1339,  as  he  did 
his  son  the  Black  Prince  in  the  same  kingdom  and  to  the  same  effect  in  1375. 


John  Grey  for  five  descents,  in  right  of  his  wife  Jane ;  the 
last  of  whom,  Edward  Grey,  Lord  Powys,  married  Anne, 
one  of  the  daughters  and  co-heirs  of  Charles  Brandon,  Duke 
Dugdale  of  Suffolk,  and  died  without  any  lawful  issue.  This  Edward 
^mEH§1'  Lord  Powys>  in  15  Henry  VIII.  accompanied  the  Duke  of 
p.  284.  Suffolk  in  the  expedition  then  made  into  France,  and  was  at 
the  taking  of  Bray,  and  other  places  then  won  from  the 
French.  And  in  36  Henry  VIII.  being  again  ready  to 
march  in  the  King's  service,  he  made  his  last  testament, 
whereby  he  settled  the  succession  of  his  whole  barony  and 
lordship  of  Powys,  his  castle  and  manor  of  Pool,  with  divers 
other  lordships  in  the  county  of  Montgomery,  and  all  the 
rest  of  his  estate  in  the  county  of  Salop,  upon  the  heirs  of 
his  own  body  lawfully  begotten  or  to  be  begotten ;  and  in 
default  of  such  issue,  his  castle  and  manor  of  Charleton  and 
Pontesbury  in  Shropshire,  upon  Jane  Orwell,  daughter  of 
Sir  Lewis  Orwell,  knight,  and  her  assigns,  during  her 
natural  life  ;  and  in  case  he  should  die  without  any  issue  of 
his  own  body  lawfully  begotten,  that  then  Edward  Grey, 
his  illegitimate  son  by  the  same  Jane  Orwell,  should  have 
and  enjoy  his  said  barony  and  manor  of  Powys,  his  castle 
and  manor  of  Pool,  and  all  other  his  lordships  in  the  county 
of  Montgomery ;  with  the  reversion  of  the  castle  and  manor 
of  Charleton  and  Pontesbury,  to  him  and  his  heirs  lawfully 
begotten ;  and  for  lack  of  such  issue,  to  remain  to  that  child, 
in  case  it  should  be  a  son,  wherewith  the  same  Jane  Orwell 
was  then  great  by  him,  and  to  the  heirs  of  his  body  lawfully 
begotten :  but  if  it  should  not  prove  a  son,  or  if  the  son  die 
without  issue,  then  that  the  whole  barony  of  Powys,  and  all 
the  premises  before-mentioned,  should  come  to  Jane  Grey, 
his  daughter,  and  to  the  heirs  of  her  body  lawfully  begotten ; 
and  for  lack  of  such  issue,  to  Anne  Grey,  his  other  daugh- 
ter, and  the  heirs  of  her  body  lawfully  begotten;  and 
lastly,  for  default  of  such  issue,  to  such  woman-child  as 
should  be  born  of  the  body  of  the  said  Jane  Orwell.  After 
the  death  of  Edward  Grey,  the  title  of  Lord  of  Powys  lay 
extinct  to  the  fifth  year  of  King  Charles  I.  when  Sir  William 
Herbert,  son  of  Sir  Edward  Herbert,  of  Redcastle  (anciently 
called  Pool  Castle,  now  Powys  Castle),  in  the  county  of 
Montgomery,  second  son  to  William  Earl  of  Pembroke,  to 
whom  the  castle  had  come  by  purchase,  was  advanced  to  the 
dignity  of  a  baron  of  the  realm,  by  the  title  of  Lord  Powys 
of  Powys,  in  the  marches  of  Wales ;  in  whose  descendants  it 
still  continues,  though  the  title  has  been  changed  from  a 
baron  to  an  earl,  and  subsequently  to  a  marquis  and  a  duke, 
afterwards  to  an  earl,  and  then  by  a  new  creation  to  an  earl 
again,  in  the  person  of  Edward  Lord  Clive  now  Earl  of 



Powys,  whose  wife  was  sister  and  heir  to  the  last  Earl  of 
Powys  of  the  Herbert  family. 

About  the  same  time  that  Madoc  ap  Meredith  Prince  of 
Powys  died,  Cadwalhon  ap  Madawc  ap  Ednerth,  who  had 
been  for  some  considerable  time  at  variance  with  his  brother 
Eineon  Clyd,  was  taken  prisoner  by  him,  who  delivered  him 
up  to  Owen  Prince  of  North  Wales ;  but  the  prince  being 
willing  to  gratify  the  King  of  England,  whose  interest 
Cadwalhon  had  as  much  as  in  him  lay  opposed,  sent  him  to 
the  king's  officers  to  be  imprisoned  at  Winchester;  from 
whence  he  quickly  found  means  to  escape :  and  by  the  ad- 
vice of  the  rest  of  his  brethren  he  returned  home  to  his 
country.  King  Henry  continued  all  this  while  in  Nor- 
mandy, and  during  his  stay  there,  a  match  was  agreed  upon 
betwixt  his  son  Henry  and  Margaret  daughter  to  Lewis 
King  of  France :  but  this  new  alliance  did  not  prevent  these 
two  monarchs  from  falling  at  variance  with  each  other, 
which  happened  the  year  following;  and  thereupon  King 
Henry  marched  with  his  army  into  Gascoyne,  to  quell 
certain  rebels,  who  upon  first  notice  of  this  breach  between 
the  two  kings  were  up  in  arms  against  the  English.  The 
next  year  a  peace  was  again  concluded,  and  so  all  things  A.D.  1161. 
returned  to  their  former  state  of  amity  and  quietness. 

It  was  not  so,  however,  in  Wales ;  for  Howel  the  son  of 
levaf  ap  Cadwgan  ap  Athelstan  Glodryth,  having  got  into 
his  hands  the  castle  of  Walwern  in  Cyfeilioc,  razed  it  to  the 
ground,  which  so  incensed  Prince  Owen,*  who  was  owner 
of  it,  that  nothing  could  allay  his  fury,  till  he  had  drawn  his 
forces  together,  and  made  an  incursion  into  Lhandinam  in 
Arustly,  HowePs  country ;  which  he  cruelly  harassed,  and 
carried  away  considerable  booty.  The  people  of  the  country 
perceiving  these  devastations  of  the  North  Wales  men,  came 
together  to  the  number  of  three  hundred  men,  offering  their 
service  to  their  natural  lord,  Howel  ap  levaf,  who,  upon  this 
addition  of  strength,  followed  the  enemy  to  the  banks  of 
Severn,  where  they  were  encamped.  Prince  Owen,  finding 
them  to  march  after  him,  was  glad  of  the  opportunity  to  be 
further  revenged  upon  Howel;  and  so  turning  suddenly 
upon  them,  he  slew  about  two  hundred  men;  the  rest 
narrowly  escaping  with  Howel  to  the  woods  and  rocks. 
Owen  being  more  joyful  for  the  revenge  he  had  taken  of 
Howel,  than  for  any  victory  he  had  gained,  rebuilt 
Walwerh  castle,  and  having  well  fortified  and  manned  it, 
returned  home  to  North  Wales. 

The  year  following,  the  like  thing  happened;  Owen  the  iiea. 


*  He   was  styled   Owen  Cyveilioc,  and  had  a  district  called  by  that  name,  which 
contained  nearly  half  of  PowyB. — Welsh  Chron.  pp.210,  211. 


son  of  Gruffydh  ap  Meredith,  commonly  called  Owen 
Cyfeilioc  o  Wynedh,  together  with  Owen  ap  Madawc  ap 
Meredith  and  Meredith  ap  Howel,  set  upon  Carreghofa* 
castle  near  Oswestry,  and  having  overpowered  the  garrison, 
committed  great  waste  and  destruction  therein.  About  the 
same  time,  a  singular  quarrel  happened  in  England;  Robert 
Mountford  and  Henry  de  Essex,  who  had  both  fought 
against  the  Welsh  upon  the  marches  and  fled,  began  now  to 
impeach  each  other  as  being  the  first  occasion  of  flying. 
The  dispute  was  to  be  tried  by  single  combat,  in  which 
being  engaged  Henry  was  overcome;  and  for  his  falsely 
accusing  Robert,  he  was  sentenced  to  have  his  estate  for- 
feited, and  then  having  his  crown  shorn,  he  was  entered  a 
monk  at  Redding.  Within  a  little  time  after,  King  Henry, 
calling  to  mind  what  Prince  Rhys  had  committed  during 
his  absence  from  the  kingdom,  drew  up  a  great  army 
against  South  Wales,  and  having  marched  as  far  as  Pen- 
cadyr,  near  Brecknock,  Rhts  met  him  and  did  his  homage ; 
and  delivering  up  hostages  for  his  future  behaviour,  f  he 
stopped  the  king's  progress,  so  that  thence  he  returned  to 
England.  After  the  king's  departure,  two  very  unhappy 
affairs  occurred  in  Wales ;  Eineon  the  son  of  Anarawd  ap 
Gruffydh,  nephew  to  Prince  Rhys,  being  villainously  mur- 
dered in  his  bed  by  his  own  servant,  called  Walter  ap 
Lhywarch ;  as  also  Cadwgan  ap  Meredith,  in  like  manner, 
by  one  Walter  ap  Riccart :  but  the  loss  of  his  nephew 
Prince  Rhys  made  up,  by  possessing  himself  of  that  large 
country  called  Cantref  Mawr,  and  the  land  of  Dynefawr, 
which  he  afterwards  enjoyed.  Of  men  of  learning  there 
died  this  year,  Cadifor  ap  Daniel,  Archdeacon  of  Cardigan ; 
and  Henry  ap  Arthen,  the  greatest  scholar  that  had 
flourished  in  Wales  for  many  years. 

A.  D.  lies.  The  next  year,  a  total  rupture  broke  forth  betwixt  the 
English  and  Welsh  ;  Prince  Rhys,}  a  man  of  an  active  and 
uncontroulable  spirit,  being  now  aware  by  experience  that 
he  could  not  sustain  the  greatness  of  his  quality,  with  such 
lands  as  the  King  of  England  had  allotted  him,  made  an 
invasion  into  the  Lordship  of  Roger  de  Acre,  Earl  of 
Gloucester;  being  moved  thereto,  in  a  great  measure,  by 
reason  that  his  nephew  Anarawd  ap  Gruffydh  was  murdered 
at  that  Earl's  instigation.  Having  advanced  with  a  strong 
army  into  the  Earl  of  Gloucester's  estate,  without  any  great 
opposition  he  took  Aberheidol  castle,§  with  those  be- 
longing to  the  sons  of  Wyhyaon,  which  he  rased  to  the 


*  Garreg  Hova,  six  miles  from  Oswestry,  in  the  parish  of  Llanymynech,  which  part  of 
that  parish  lies  in  the  county  of  Denbigh. 

f  Welsh  Chron.p.  220.  J  Rhys  ap  Gryffydh. 

§  On  the  conflux  of  the  rivers  Rheidol  and  Ystwyth. 


ground.  Thence  he  marched  to  Cardigan,  bringing  all 
that  country  under  his  subjection;  and  from  thence  he 
marched  against  the  Flemings,  whose  country  he  cruelly 
harassed  with  fire  and  sword.  The  rest  of  the  estates  of 
Wales,  perceiving  Prince  Rhys  to  prosper  so  successfully 
against  the  English,  thought  they  might  equally  succeed, 
and  shake  off  the  English  yoke,  by  which  they  were  un- 
reasonably oppressed.  Therefore  they  unanimously  agreed 
to  cast  off  their  subjection  to  the  English,  whose  tyranny 
they  could  no  longer  bear,  and  to  put  over  them  princes  of 
their  own  nation,  whose  superiority  they  could  better 
tolerate,  and  so  this  year  concluded  with  making  suitable 
preparations  for  the  following  campaign. 

As  soon  as  the  time  of  year  for  action  was  advanced,  A.  D.  1164. 
David,  son  of  Owen,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  fell  upon 
Flintshire,  which  pertained  to  the  King  of  England ;  and 
carrying  off  all  the  people  and  cattle  with  him,  brought 
them  to  Dyffryn  Clwyd,  otherwise  Ruthyn-land.*  King 
Henry  understanding  this,  gathered  together  his  forces,  and 
with  all  speed  marched  to  defend  both  his  subjects  and 
towns  from  the  incursions  and  depredations  of  the  Welsh. 
Being  come  to  Rhuddlan  or  Rhuthlan  and  encamped  there 
three  days,  he  soon  perceived  he  could  effect  no  great 
measure,  because  his  army  was  not  sufficiently  numerous ; 
and,  therefore,  he  thought  it  most  advisable  to  return  back 
to  England,  and  to  augment  his  forces,  before  he  should 
attempt  any  thing  against  the  Welsh  :f  and  accordingly  he 
levied  the  most  chosen  men  throughout  all  his  dominions 
of  England,  Normandy,  Anjou,  Gascoyne,  and  Guienne, 
besides  obtaining  aid  from  Flanders  and  Britanriy,  and  then 
set  forward  for  North  Wales,  purposing  to  destroy  without 
mercy  every  living  thing  he  could  possibly  meet  with  ;  and 
being  advanced  as  far  as  Croes-Oswalt,  called  Oswestry,  he 
encamped  there.  On  the  other  side,  Prince  Owen  and  his 
brother  Cadwalader,  with  all  the  strength  of  North  Wales; 
Prince  Rhys  with  those  of  South  Wales ;  Owen  Cyfeilioc 
and  Madawc  ap  Meredith  with  all  the  power  of  Powys ;  the 
two  sons  of  Madawc  ap  Ednerth,  with  the  people  living 
betwixt  the  rivers  of  Severn  and  Wye,  met  together,  and 
pitched  their  camp  at  Corwen  in  Edeymeon,  intending 
unanimously  to  defend  their  country  against  the  King  of 
England.  King  Henry  understanding  that  they  were  so 
near,  was  very  desirous  to  come  to  battle ;  and  to  that  end 
he  removed  to  the  banks  of  the  river  Ceiriog,J  causing  all 


*  WeIshChron.p.221. 

f  Brompton  Chron.  sub  ann.  1165.     Chronica  Gervasii,  p.  1398.     Giraldus Cambrensis 
Itin.  lib.  ii.  cap.  10. 

J  A  river  in  the  county  of  Denbigh,  which  runs  through  a  vale  of  that  name. 


the  woods  thereabouts  to  be  cut  down,  for  fear  of  any 
ambushment  lurking  therein,  and  for  a  more  clear  prospect 
of  the  enemy  :*  but  some  of  the  Welsh  took  advantage  of 
this  opportunity,  and  being  well  acquainted  with  the  pas- 
sage, without  the  knowledge  of  their  officers,  fell  upon  the 
king's  guard,  where  all  the  pikemen  were  posted;  and  after 
a  hot  skirmish,  several  were  slain  on  both  sides :  in  the  end, 
however,  the  king  won  the  passage,  and  so  marched  on  to 
the  mountain  of  Berwyn,  where  he  lay  some  time  without 
any  hostility  on  either  side,  both  armies  standing  in  fear  of 
each  other.  The  English  kept  the  open  plains,  and  were 
afraid  to  be  entrapped  in  the  straits  and  narrow  passages  ; 
and  the  Welsh  on  the  other  hand  watched  the  advantage  of 
the  place  ;  and  observed  the  English  so  narrowly,  that 
neither  forage  or  victuals  could  pass  to  the  king's  camp ; 
and  what  augmented  the  misery  of  the  English  army,  there 
happened  to  fall  a  tremendous  rain,  that  overflowed  their 
encampment,  in  so  much  that  with  the  slipperiness  of  the 
hills,  the  soldiers  could  scarcely  stand  ;  eventually  King 
Henry  was  forced  to  decamp,  and  after  a  very  considerable 
loss  of  men  and  ammunition,  besides  the  great  charges  of 
this  expedition,  was  compelled  to  return  back  to  England. 
To  express  how  much  dissatisfaction  he  entertained  at  this 
enterprize,  he  in  a  great  fury  caused  to  be  plucked  out  the 
eyes  of  the  hostages,  that  he  had  some  time  before  received 
from  the  Welsh;  which  were  Rhys  and  Cadwalhon,  the 
sons  of  Owen  Prince  of  North  Wales,  and  Cynric  and 
Meredith,  the  sons  of  Rhys  of  South  Wales. f  Some 
write,  that  in  assailing  a  bridge,  in  this  expedition,  the 
king  was  in  no  small  danger  of  his  life  :  one  of  the  Welsh 
having  aimed  directly  at  him,  would  have  pierced  him 
through  the  body,  had  not  Hubert  de  Clare,  Constable  of 
Colchester,  who  perceived  the  arrow  coming,  thrust  himself 
betwixt  the  king  and  it,  although  to  the  loss  of  his  own 

Though  King  Henry  was  shamefully  forced  to  return  to 
England,  yet  he  did  not  give  up  the  idea  of  subduing  the 
Welsh ;  and  therefore,  after  a  long  consultation,  he  made  a 
third  expedition  into  Wales,  conveying  his  army  by  sea  as 
far  as  Chester.  There  he  staid  for  some  time,  till  all  his 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  221. 

f  Holinshead's  Chron.  p.  73,  says  that,  "  besides  those  above-mentioned,  he  caused  the 
sons  and  daughters  of  several  lords  to  be  treated  with  the  same  severity,  ordering  the 
eyes  of  the  young  striplings  to  be  pecked  out  of  their  heads,  and  the  ears  of  the  young 
gentlewomen  to  be  stuffed." 

t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  222. —Holinshead's  Chron.  p.  73,  says,  "  This  accident  happened  at 
the  siege  of  Bridgenorth." 


fleet,  as  well  those  ships  that  he  had  hired  out  of  Ireland  as 
his  own,  were  arrived :  but  when  they  were  all  come  together 
and  got  safely  to  Chester,  his  mind  was  altered;  and 
instead  of  a  design  against  Wales,  he  unexpectedly  dismissed 
his  whole  army.  Prince  Rhys  was  glad  of  this  opportunity, 
and  therefore  withdrawing  his  forces  from  the  confederate 
army,  he  marched  to  the  siege  of  Aberteifi  castle,  which 
being  surrendered  to  him,  he  rased  it  to  the  ground.  From 
thence  he  got  before  Cilgerran,*  which  he  used  after  the 
same  manner,  and  therein  took  prisoner  Robert  the  son  of 
Stephen,  his  cousin-german,  who  was  the  son  of  Nest  his 
aunt,  and  who  after  the  death  of  Gerald  had  married  Stephen 
Constable.  The  joy  of  these  successes  on  the  part  of  the 
Welsh  was  somewhat  clouded  by  the  death  of  Lhewelyn, 
son  of  Owen  Prince  of  North  Wales,  a  person  of  great 
worth,  and  exceedingly  well  beloved  of  all  his  countrymen. 

The  Welsh  being  now  somewhat  secure  from  any  inva-  A,  D.  1165. 
sion  from  the  English,  there  rose  up  another  enemy  to 
create  them  disturbance;  the  Flemings  and  Normans,  find- 
ing the  English  had  failed  in  their  attempt  against  the 
Welsh,  thought  they  might  with  better  success  invade  and 
subdue  them;  and  therefore  they  came  to  West  Wales 
with  a  great  army,  and  laid  siege  to  the  castle  of  Cilgerran, 
which  Rhys  had  lately  fortified;  but  after  two  different 
assaults,  they  were  manfully  beat  back  and  forced  to  depart 
home  again :  however,  what  the  Flemings  could  not  effect 
against  the  Welsh  in  South  Wales  the  Welsh  easily  brought 
about  against  the  English  in  North  Wales;  for  Prince 
Owen  having  besieged  Basingwerk  castle,  then  in  the  pos- 
session of  the  king  of  England,  without  much  time  spent, 
made  himself  master  of  it.f  It  was,  however,  always  the 
misfortune  of  the  Welsh,  that  when  they  found  themselves 
secure  from  any  enemy  abroad,  they  were  sure  to  quarrel 
and  fall  out  at  home ;  though  indeed  it  could  not  be  other- 
wise expected,  where  so  many  petty  states  endeavoured  to 
surmount  and  outvie  each  other.  Now,  therefore,  when  all 
things  went  very  successfully  on  their  side,  in  opposition  to 
the  English,  two  ambitious  persons  began  to  kindle  a  flame 
in  the  bosom  of  their  own  country :  Owen  Cyfeilioc,  the  son 
of  Gruflfydh  ap  Meredith  Lord  of  Powys,  and  Owen  Fychan, 
second  son  to  Madawc  ap  Meredith,  forcibly  dispossessed 
lorwerth  Goch  of  his  estate  in  Powys,  which  they  divided 
betwixt  themselves, — Mochnan-uwch-Rayader  to  Owen 
Cyfeilioc,  and  Mochnant-is-Rayader  to  Owen  Fychan :  but 


*  Situated  on  the  banks  of  the  river  Tivi,  near  Caerdigan. 
t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  223. 


A.D.  1166.  the  rest  of  the  princes  of  Wales  could  not  brook  this  injury 
done  to  lorwerth  Goch  ;  and  therefore  Owen  Prince  of 
North  Wales,  with  his  brother  Cadwalader,  and  Rhys 
Prince  of  South  Wales,  went  with  an  army  into  Powys 
against  Owen  Cyfeilioc,*  and,  having  chased  him  out  of  the 
country,  they  bestowred  Caereineon  upon  Owen  Fychan,  to 
hold  it  of  Prince  Owen  ;  and  Rhys  had  Walwern,  by  reason 
that  it  lay  near  his  own  territories.f  Within  a  while  after, 
Owen  Cyfeilioc  returned  with  a  numerous  band  of  Normans 
and  English  along  with  him,  and  laid  siege  to  the  castle  of 
Caereineon,  which  he  burnt  to  the  ground :  but  the  loss  of 
this  place  was  made  up  by  the  taking  of  Rhuddlan  castle, 
which  Owen,  Rhys,  and  Cadwalader  jointly  besieged  ; 
and  which  was  so  strongly  fortified,  and  so  manfully 
defended,  that  it  cost  them  three  months  before  they  could 
1176.  make  themselves  masters  of  the  place.  Afterwards  they 
won  the  castle  of  Prestatyn,  and  reduced  the  whole  country 
of  Tegengl  subject  to  Prince  Owen  ;  and  then  returned 
home  to  their  respective  dominions.  Henceforward  nothing 
of  moment  was  transacted  during  the  remainder  of  Prince 
Owen's  reign,  only  his  son  Conan  most  unmercifully  slew 
Urgency,  Abbot  of  Lhwythlawr,  together  with  his  nephew 

1168.  Lhawthen  :  but  a  little  after,  Prince  Rhys  of  South  Wales 
released  out  of  prison  his  nephew  Robert,  son  to  Stephen 
Constable,  whom,  as  is  said  before,  he  had  taken  at  the 
siege  of  Cilgerran  castle,  and  sent  him  to  Ireland  to  the  aid 
of  Dermot,  the  son  of  Murchart,  King  of  Leinster,  who  was 
then  in  actual  war  with  the  King  of  Leinster.      With  him 
and  his  brother  Morris   Fitz-Gerald,   and  their  nephews 
Robert,  Meyler,  and  Raymond,  went  over  a  strong  detach- 
ment of  Welshmen,  under  the  command  of  Richard  Strong- 
bow,  Earl  of  Strigul,  who  were  the  chief  movers  of  the 
conquest  of  Ireland,  when  it  was  first  brought  in  subjection 
to  the  crown  of  England. 

1169.  But  the  next  year,  Owen  Gwynedh,  son  of  Gruflfydh  ap 
Conan,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  departed  this  life  in  the 
thirty-second  year  of  his  reign.:}:     He  was  a  wise  and  valour- 
ous  prince,  ever  fortunate  and  victorious  in  all  his  under- 
takings, insomuch  that  he  never  undertook  any  design  but 
what  he  accomplished.     He  had  by  different  women  several 
children,  who  got  themselves  greater  esteem  by  their  valour, 
than  by  their  birth  and  parentage.     He  had  by  Gwladus, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  223,  2-24. 

f  Brit.  Ant.  Reviv.  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  pp.  5,  6. 

J  He  was  buried  in  the  cathedral  church  of  Bangorj  and  had  by  different  women 
twenty-one  children. 


the  daughter  of  Lhywarch  ap  Trahaern  ap  Caradoc,  lorwerth 
Drwyndwn,  or  lorwerth  with  the  broken  nose,  Conan, 
Maelgon,  and  Gwenlhian;  by  Christian  the  daughter  of 
Grono  ap  Owen  ap  Edwyn,  he  had  David,  Roderic,* 
Cadwalhon  abbot  of  Bardsey,  and  Angharad  afterwards 
married  to  Gruffydh  Maylor.  He  had  by  other  women 
several  other  children,  as  Conan,  Lhewelyn,  Meredith, 
Edwal,  Rhun,  Howel,  Cadelh,  Madawc,  Eineon,  Cynwric, 
Philip,  and  Ryrid  Lord  of  Clochran  in  Ireland.  OfHhese, 
Rhun,  Lhewelyn,  and  Cynwric  died  before  their  father;  and 
the  rest  will  be  mentioned  in  the  sequel  of  this  history. f 


X  RINCE  Owen  Gwynedh  being  dead,  the  succession 
should  of  right  have  descended  to  his  eldest  legitimate  son, 
lorwerth  Drwyndwn,  otherwise  called  Edward  with  the 
broken  nose ;  but  by  reason  of  that  blemish  upon  his  face, 
he  was  laid  aside  as  unfit  to  take  upon  hirii  the  government 
of  North  Wales.J  Therefore  his  younger  brothers  began 
every  one  to  aspire,  in  hopes  of  succeeding  their  father;  but  A.D.  1170. 
Howel,  who  was  of  all  the  eldest,  but  base  born,  begotten 
of  an  Irish  woman,  finding  they  could  not  agree,  stept  in 
himself  and  took  upon  him  the  government.  David,  how- 
ever, who  was  legitimately  born,  could  riot  brook  that  a 
bastard  should  ascend  his  father's  throne;  and  therefore 
he  made  air  the  preparations  possible  to  remove  him. 
Howel  on  the  other  hand  was  determined  to  maintain  his 
ground,  and  was  not  willing  thus  to  deliver  up  what  he  so 
recently  got  possession  of;  and  so  both  brothers  meeting 
together  in  the  field,  were  resolved  to  try  their  title  by  the 
point  of  the  sword.  The  battle  had  not  lasted  long  before 
Howel  was  slain ;  and  then  David  was  unanimously  pro- 
claimed and  acknowledged  Prince  of  North  Wales,§  which 
principality  he  enjoyed  without  any  molestation,  till  Lhe- 
welyn, lorwerth  Drwyndwn's  son,  came  of  age,  as  will 
hereafter  appear.  It  is  said  that  Madawc,  another  of  Owen 
Gwynedh's  sons,  perceiving  these  contentions  among  his 



*  Lord  of  Anglesey.  f  History  of  Gwedir  family,  p.  3. 

J  He  had  however  assigned  him,  for  his  maintenance,  a  part  of  his  father's  inheritance  : 
the  cantrevs  of  Kanconwy  and  Ardudwy  ;  and  resided  at  the  caslle  of  Dolwyddelan, 
situate  in  the  county  of  Carnarvon. -History  of  Gwedir  family,  p.  7.— This  prince  was 
afterwards  obliged  to  take  sanctuary  at  Pennant  Melangel  in  Montgomeryshire,  where  he 

§  Welsh  Chron  p.  227.— Memoir  of  Gwedir  family,'p.  7. 


brothers  for  the  principality,  and  that  his  native  country  was 
likely  to  be  embroiled  in  a  civil  war,  deemed  it  more  pru- 
dent to  try  his  fortune  abroad ;  and  therefore  departing  from 
North  Wales  when  it  was  in  this  unsettled  condition,  he 
sailed  with  a  small  fleet  of  ships,  which  he  had  rigged  and 
manned  for  that  purpose,  to  the  westward;  and  leaving 
Ireland  on  the  north,  he  came  at  length  to  an  unknown 
country,  where  most  things  appeared  to  him  new  and  un- 
common, and  the  manner  of  the  natives  far  different  to  what 
he  had  seen  in  Europe.  This  country,  says  the  learned  H. 
Lhuyd,  must  of  necessity  be  some  part  of  that  vast  tract  of 
ground  of  which  the  Spaniards,  since  Hanno's  time,  boast 
themselves  to  be  the  first  discoverers  ;  and  which,  by  order 
of  cosmography,  seems  to  be  some  part  of  Nova  Hispania 
or  Florida ;  whereby  it  is  manifest  that  this  country  was 
discovered  by  the  Britons,  long  before  either  Columbus 
or  Americus  Vesputius  sailed  thither:  but  concerning 
Madawc's  voyage  to  this  country,  and  afterwards  his  return 
from  thence,  there  be  many  fabulous  stories  and  idle  tales 
invented  by  the  vulgar,  who  are  sure  never  to  diminish  from 
what  they  hear,  but  generally  add  to  any  fable  as  far  as 
their  invention  will  prompt  them.  However,  says  the  same 
author,  it  is  certain  that  Madawc  arrived  in  this  country, 
and  after  he  had  viewed  the  fertility  and  pleasantness  of  it, 
he  thought  it  expedient  to  invite  more  of  his  countrymen 
out  of  Britain ;  and  therefore  leaving  most  of  those  he  had 
already  taken  with  him  behind,  he  returned  for  Wales. 
Being  arrived  there,  he  informed  his  friends  what  a  fair  and 
extensive  land  he  had  met  with,  void  of  any  inhabitants, 
whilst  they  employed  all  their  skill  to  supplant  one  another, 
only  for  a  rugged  portion  of  rocks  and  mountains;  and 
therefore  he  persuaded  them  to  change  their  present  state  of 
danger  and  continual  bickering  for  a  place  where  they  should 
have  ease  and  enjoyment :  and  having  thus  got  a  consider- 
able number  of  the  Welsh  together,  he  bade  a  final  adieu  to 
his  native  country,  and  sailed  with  ten  ships  back  to  those 
he  had  left  behind.  It  is  therefore  to  be  supposed,  says  our 
author,  that  Madawc  and  his  people  inhabited  part  of  that 
country,  since  called  Florida,  by  reason  that  it  appears  from 
Francis  Loves,  an  author  of  no  small  reputation,  that  in 
Acusanus  and  other  places,  the  people  honoured  and  wor- 
shipped the  cross ;  whence  it  may  be  naturally  concluded 
that  Christians  had  been  there  before  the  coming  of  the 
Spaniards;  and  who  these  Christians  might  be,  unless  it 
were  this  colony  said  to  be  planted  by  Madawc,  cannot  be 
easily  imagined :  but  by  reason  that  the  Welsh  who  went 



over  were  few  in  number,  they  intermixed  in  a  few  years 
with  the  natives  of  the  country,  and  so  following  their  man- 
ners and  using  their  language,  they  became  at  length  un- 
distinguishable  from  the  barbarians.  The  country  which 
Madawc  landed  in,  is,  by  the  learned  Dr.  Powel,  supposed 
to  be  part  of  Mexico :  for  which  conjecture  he  lays  down 
these  following  reasons : — first,  because  it  is  recorded  in  the 
Spanish  chronicles  of  the  conquest  of  the  West  Indies,  that 
the  inhabitants  and  natives  of  that  country  affirm  by  tradition 
that  their  rulers  descended  from  a  strange  nation,  which 
came  thither  from  a  strange  country,  as  it  was  confessed  by 
King  Montezuma,  in  a  speech  at  his  submission  to  the  King 
of  Castile,  before  Hernando  Cortez,  the  Spanish  general  : 
and  further  because  the  British  words  and  names  of  places 
used  in  that  country,  even  at  this  day,  undoubtedly  denote 
the  same ;  for  when  they  speak  and  converse  together,  they 
use  this  British  word  Gwrando,  which  signifies  to  hearken 
or  listen ;  and  a  certain  bird  with  a  white  head,  they  call 
Pengwyn,  which  signifies  the  same  in  Welsh :  but  for  a 
more  complete  confirmation  of  this,  the  island  of  Coorooso, 
the  cape  of  Bryton,  the  river  of  Gwyndor,  and  the  white 
rock  of  Pengwyn,  which  are  all  British  words,  do  manifestly 
shew  that  it  was  that  country  which  Madawc  and  his  people 

As  soon  as  the  troubles  of  North  Wales  were  over,  and 

N  2 

*  An  additional  proof  is,  the  purport  of  a  Letter  to  Dr.  Jones,  of  Hammersmith,  from 
his  brother  in  America  :— "  In  the  year  1797,  a  Welsh  tradesman  on  the  river  Monanga- 
hala,  near  Petersburgh,  went  down  to  the  Ohio,  and  from  thence  up  the  Mississipi 
to  within  60  miles  of  the  Missouri,  to  a  town  called  Mazores.  In  the  month  of  April,  as  he 
chanced  to  be  out  among  some  Indians,  he  overheard  two  conversing  about  some  skins 
they  had  to  sell  or  exchange,  and  from  a  word  or  two  conceived  their  language  to  be 
Welsh ;  he  listened  for  a  few  minutes  and  became  convinced,  though  much  corrupted 
from  its  primitive  purity.  Notwithstanding,  he  resolved  to  endeat'our  to  converse  with 
them,  and,  to  his  great  astonishment,  found  themselves  mutually  understood,  with  the 
exception  of  some  words  either  original  or  obsolete  in  Wales.  He  describes  them  to  be 
of  a  robust  stature,  and  dressed  from  head  to  foot  in  the  skins  of  some  animals,  but  no 
kind  of  shirts;  their  complexion  was  of  a  copper  colour  similar  to  other  Indians,  with 
strong  black  hair,  but  no  beard  except  about  the  mouth.  By  them  he  understood  they 
came  from  a  long  way  up  the  Missouri,  and  had  been  about,  three  months  coming  to  the 
place  where  he  found  them.  In  consequence  of  the  proceeding,  John  Evans,  a  young  man 
M'ell  acquainted  with  the  language,  has  been  in  quest  of  the  Welsh  Indians,  but  without 
success,  not  having  penetrated  more  than  900  miles  up  the  Missouri,  being  compelled  to 
return  in  consequence  of  a  war  among  the  natives.  It  is  conjectured  that  our  Cambro- 
Indians  inhabit  a  territory  nearly  1800  or  2000  miles  up  that  river.  A  second  trial  was 
meditated,  but  before  it  was  executed  John  Evans  died,  consequently  no  new  discovery 
has  been  attempted." 

In  the  Gentleman's  Magazine  of  October,  1828,  published  by  Nichols  and  Son,  25, 
Parliament  Street,  London,  we  find  the  following  account:— "A  tribe  of  Americans, 
about  the  40th  degree  of  north  latitude,  and  the  45th  west  longitude,  are  said  to  possess 
many  curious  manuscripts  about  an  island  named  Brydon,  from  which  their  ancestors 
long  since  came.  Their  language  resembles  the  Welsh,  and  their  religion  is  a  sort  of 
mixed  Christianity  and  Druidism.  They  know  the  use  of  letters,  and  are  very  fond  of 


A.D.  1171.  Prince  David  was  securely  settled  in  his  throne,  a  storm  fell 
upon  Powys :  for  Owen  Cyfeilioc,  the  lord  of  the  country, 
had  always,  as  much  as  in  him  lay,  opposed  the  interest  and 
advantage  of  Rhys  Prince  of  South  Wales;  upon  which 
account  Prince  Rhys  came  with  a  great  army  against  Powys, 
and  having  subdued  Owen  Cyfeilioc  his  enemy,  he  was  yet 
so  favourable  to  him,  that  upon  his  delivering  him  pledges 
for  his  future  behaviour,  he  immediately  departed  out  of 
Powys,  and  returned  with  much  honour  to  South  Wales. 
The  states  of  Britain  being  now  all  at  perfect  rest  and  amity 
with  each  other,  the  scene  of  action  removed  to  Ireland ;  for 
Henry  King  of  England  having  called  together  all  his 
nobility,  consulted  with  them  about  the  Irish  expedition, 
which  had  already  been  determined  upon.  To  this  con- 
sultation there  came  some  messengers  from  Richard  Strong- 
bow  Earl  of  Strigule,  Marshal  of  England,  to  deliver  up  to 
the  king's  hands  the  city  of  Dublin,  the  town  of  Waterford, 
with  all  such  towns  and  castles  as  he  got  in  right  of  his  wife ; 
whereupon  the  king  restored  to  him  all  his  lands  both  in 
England  and  Normandy,  and  created  him  Lord  Steward 
of  Ireland,  for  this  Earl  of  Strigule  had  very  lately, 
without  obtaining  the  king's  permission,  gone  over  to 
Ireland,  and  had  married  the  daughter  of  Dermott  King  of 
Dublin  ;  at  which  King  Henry  was  so  indignant,  that  he 
immediately  seized  upon  all  his  lands  in  England  and  Nor- 
mandy. Therefore  the  king  having  now  some  footing  in 
Ireland,  the  expedition  was  unanimously  concurred  in  ;  and 
the  king  having  commenced  his  journey,  was,  on  coming 
towards  Wales,  received  by  Prince  Rhys,  at  whose  sub- 
mission the  king  was  so  much  pleased,  that  he  confirmed  to 
him  all  his  lands  in  South  Wales.  In  return  for  the  king's 
favour,  Rhys  promised  to  his  majesty  three  hundred  horses 
and  four  thousand  oxen  towards  the  conquest  of  Ireland ; 
for  the  sure  payment  of  which  he  delivered  fourteen  pledges. 
Then  King  Henry,  marching  forward,  came  to  Caerlheon 
upon  Ubk,  and  entering  the  town,  dispossessed  the  right 
owner,  lorwerth  ap  Owen  ap  Caradoc,  and  kept  it  for  his 
own  use,  placing  a  garrison  of  his  own  men  therein :  but 
lorwerth  was  not  so  submissive  as  to  endure  tamely  this 
injustice  of  the  king ;  and  therefore  departing  in  great  fury 
from  the  king's  presence,  he  called  to  him  his  two  sons 
Owen  and  Howel  (whom  he  had  by  Angharad  the  daughter 
of  Uchtryd  bishop  of  Llandaff),  and  his  sister's  son  Morgan 


music  and  poetry.  They  still  call  themselves  Brydones.  It  is  generally  believed  that 
they  are  descendants  of  some  wandering  Britons,  expelled  from  home  about  the  time  of 
the  Saxons,  and  carried  by  wind  and  current  to  the  great  continent  of  the  west,  into  the 
heart  of  which  they  have  been  driven  back  by  successive  encroachments  of  modern 
settler*."— P.  359. 


ap  Sitsylt  ap  Dyfnwal,  and  bringing  together  all  the  forces 
they  were  able,  upon  the  king's  departure  they  entered  the 
country,  and  committing  all  kinds  of  waste  and  destruction 
as  they  proceeded,  they  at  last  came  before  Caerlheon, 
which  town  they  took  and  despoiled  in  the  like  manner, 
destroying  whatever  they  could  meet  with ;  so  that  nothing 
escaped  their  fury,  excepting  the  castle,  which  they  could 
not  obtain.  The  king  was  in  the  mean  time  upon  his  journey 
to  Pembroke,  where  being  accompanied  by  Prince  Rhys,  he 
gave  him  a  grant  of  all  Cardigan,  Ystratywy,  Arustly,  and 
Elvil,  in  recompence  of  the  civilities  and  honour  that  he 
had  done  to  him ;  and  so  Rhys  returned  to  Aberteifi,  a  town 
he  had  lately  won  from  the  Earl  of  Gloucester,  and  there 
having  prepared  his  present,  about  the  beginning  of  October 
he  returned  again  to  Pembroke,  having  ordered  eighty-six 
horses  to  follow  him  ;  which  being  presented  to  the  king,  he 
accepted  of  thirty-six  of  the  choicest,  and  returned  the  rest 
with  great  thanks.  The  same  day  King  Henry  went  to  St. 
David's,  and  after  he  had  offered  to  the  memory  of  that 
saint,  he  dined  with  the  bishop,  who  was  the  son  of  Gerald, 
cousin-german  to  Rh$Ts  ;  and  to  this  place  Richard  Strong- 
bow  Earl  of  Strygule  came  from  Ireland  to  confer  with  the 
king.  Within  a  while  after,  King  Henry  being  entertained 
by  Rhys  at  the  White  House,  restored  to  him  his  son 
Howel,  who  had  been  for  a  considerable  time  detained  as  a 
pledge,  and  appointed  him  a  certain  day  for  payment  of 
tribute,  at  which  time  all  the  rest  of  the  pledges  should  be 
set  at  liberty.*  The  day  following,  being  the  next  after  the 
feast  of  St.  Luke,  the  king  went  on  board,  and  the  wind 
blowing  very  favourably,  set  sail  for  Ireland,  and  being 
safely  arrived  upon  those  coasts,  he  landed  at  Dublin; 
where  he  rested  for  that  whole  winter,  in  order  to  make 
greater  preparations  against  the  following  campaign. 

The  change  of  the  air  and  the  nature  of  the  climate,  how- 
ever, occasioned  such  a  distemper  and  infection  among  the 
soldiers,  that  to  prevent  the  loss  of  his  whole  army,  the  king  A.  D.  11.72. 
was  forced  to  return  with  all  speed  to  England ;  and  having 
shipped  off  all  his  army  and  effects,  he  loosed  anchor,  and 
landed  in  Wales  in  the  Passion-week  next  year,  and  coming 
to  Pembroke,  he  staid  there  on  Easter-day,  and  then  pro- 
ceeded upon  his  journey  towards  England.  Rhys,  Tiearing 
of  the  king's  return,  was  very  solicitous  to  pay  him  his 
devotion,  and  to  be  one  of  the  first  who  should  welcome  him 
over;  and,  meeting  with  him  at  Talacharn,*  he  performed  all 

*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  230,  231.  f  Talacharn,  or  Tal  y  earn, 


the  ceremonies  of  duty  and  allegiance.*  Then  the  king 
passed  on,  and  as  he  came  from  Caerdyf,  by  the  new  castle 
upon  Usk,  meaning  to  leave  Wales  in  a  peaceable  condition, 
he  sent  for  lorwerth  ap  Owen  ap  Caradoc,  who  was  the 
only  person  in  open  enmity  against  him  (and  that  upon  very 
just  ground),  requiring  him  to  come  and  treat  about  a 
peace,  and  assuring  him  of  a  safe  conduct  for  himself,  his 
sons,  and  all  the  rest  of  his  associates.  lorwerth  was 
willing  to  accept  of  the  proposal,  and  thereupon  set  forward 
to  meet  the  king,  having  sent  an  express  to  his  son  Owen,  a 
valourous  young  gentleman,  to  meet  him  by  the  way.  Owen, 
according  to  his  father's  orders,  set  forward  on  his  journey, 
with  a  small  retinue,  without  any  kind  of  arms  or  weapons  of 
war,  as  thinking  it  needless  to  burden  himself  with  such 
carriage,  when  the  king  had  promised  him  a  safe  conduct : 
but  he  did  not  find  it  so  safe ;  for  as  he  passed  the  new 
castle  upon  Uske,f  the  Earl  of  Bristol's  men,  who  were 
garrisoned  therein,  laid  in  wait  for  him  as  he  came  along, 
and  setting  upon  him  in  a  cowardly  manner,  they  slew  him 
with  most  of  his  company.  Some  few,  however,  escaped  to 
acquaint  his  father  Torwerth  of  this  treacherous  action,  who 
hearing  that  his  son  was  so  basely  murdered,  contrary  to  the 
king's  absolute  promise  of  a  safe  passage,  without  any  farther 
consultation  about  the  matter,  presently  returned  home  with 
Howel  his  son,  and  all  his  friends,  and  would  not  put  trust 
or  confidence  in  any  thing  that  the  King  of  England  or  any 
of  his  subjects  promised  to  do :  but,  on  the  contrary,  to 
avenge  the  death  of  his  son,  who  was  so  cowardly  cut  off,  he 
immediately  raised  all  the  forces  that  himself  and  the  rest  of 
his  friends  were  able  to  do,  and  entering  into  England,  he 
destroyed  with  fire  and  sword  all  the  country,  to  the  gates  of 
Hereford  and  Gloucester.  {  The  king  was  so  intent  upon 
his  journey,  that  he  seemed  to  take  no  great  notice  of  wrhat 
lorwerth  was  doing ;  and,  therefore,  having  by  commission 
constituted  Lord  Rhys  Chief  Justice  of  all  South  Wales,  he 
forthwith  took  his  journey  to  Normandy. §  About  this  time 
died  Cadwalader  ap  Gruffydh,  the  son  of  GrufFydh  ap 
Conan,  sometime  Prince  of  North  Wales,  who  by  his  wife 
Alice,  the  daughter  of  Richard  Clare  Earl  of  Gloucester, 
had  issue,  Cunetha,  Radulph,  and  Richard  ;  and  by  other 
women,  Cadfan,  Cadwalader,  Eineon,  Meredith  Goch,  and 
Cadwalhon.  Towards  the  end  of  this  year  Sitsylht  ap 
Dyfnwal,  and  lefan  ap  Sitsylht  ap  Riryd,  surprised  the 


*  WelshChron.p.232. 
f  The  present  Newport,  in  Monmouthshire. 

J  Welsh  Chron.  p.  232. 
§  British  Antiquities  Revived,  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  23. 


castle  of  Abergavenny,  which  belonged  to  the  King  of  Eng- 
land, and  having  made  themselves  masters  of  it,  they  took 
the  whole  garrison  prisoners.* 

The  following  year,  there  happened  a  very  great  quarrel  A.  D.  1173. 
betwixt  King  Henry  and  his  son  of  the  same  name ;  this 
latter  being  upholden  by  the  queen  (his  mother),  his 
brothers  Geoffrey  and  Richard,  the  French  King,  the  Earl 
of  Flanders,  together  with  the  Ear.  of  Chester,  William 
Patrick,  and  several  other  valiant  knights  and  gentlemen : 
but  the  old  king  having  a  stout  and  faithful  army,  consisting 
of  Almanes  and  Brabanters,  was  not  in  the  least  dismayed  at 
such  a  seeming  storm ;  and  what  made  him  more  bold  and 
adventurous,  he  was  joined  by  a  strong  party  of  Welshmen, 
which  Lord  Rhys  had  sent  him,  under  the  command  of  his 
son  Howel.  King  Henry  overthrew  his  enemies  in  divers 
encounters,  and  having  either  killed  or  taken  prisoners  most 
of  those  that  had  risen  up  against  him,  he  easily  dissipated 
the  cloud  which  at  first  seemed  so  black  and  threatening, 
lorwerth  ap  Owen  was  not  sorry  to  see  the  English  falling 
into  dissentions  among  themselves;  and,  therefore,  taking 
advantage  of  such  a  seasonable  opportunity,  he  drew  his 
army  against  Caerlheon,  which  held  out  very  obstinately 
against  him.  After  many  warm  encounters  lorwerth  at 
length  prevailed,  and  entering  the  town  by  force,  he  took 
most  of  the  inhabitants  prisoners ;  and  then  laying  siege  to 
the  castle,  it  was  surrendered  in  exchange  for  the  prisoners 
he  had  taken  in  the  town.  Howel  his  son  at  the  same  time 
was  busy  in  Gwent-is-Coed  ;  f  and  having  reduced  all  that 
country,  excepting  the  castle,  to  subjection,  he  took  pledges 
of  the  inhabitants  to  be  true  and  faithful  to  him,  and  to 
withdraw  their  allegiance  from  the  King  of  England.  At 
the  same  time,  something  of  importance  passed  in  North 
Wales ;  for  David  ap  Owen  Gwynedh,  Prince  of  North 
Wales,  bringing  an  army  over  the  river  Menai  into  Angle- 
sey, against  his  brother  Maelgon,  who  kept  that  island  from 
him,  he  forced  the  latter  to  make  his  escape  to  Ireland ;  oil 
his  return  from  whence,  the  following  year,  he  was  acci- 
dentally discovered  and  seized,  and  then  by  his  brother's 
orders  committed  to  close  prison.  Prince  David  having 
brought  the  isle  of  Anglesey  to  its  former  state  of  sub- 
jection to  him,  determined  to  remove  all  obstacles  that 
appeared  likely  to  endanger  its  falling  off  from  him;  and 
these  he  judged  to  be  his  own  nearest  relations,  and  there- 
fore he  expelled  and  banished  all  his  brethren  and  cousins  1174. 
out  of  his  territories  of  North  Wales:  but  before  this 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  234.  f  Tn  Monmouthshire. 


sentence  was  put  in  execution,  his  brother  Conan  died,  and 
so  escaped  the  ignominy  of  being  banished  his  native  country 
for  no  other  reason  but  the  jealousy  of  an  ambitious  brother. 
About  the  same  time,  Howel  the  son  of  lorwerth  ap 
Owen  of  Caerlheon,  took  prisoner  his  uncle  O\\enPencarn, 
who  was  right  heir  of  Caerlheon  and  Gwent;  and  thus 
having  secured  him,  in  order  to  prevent  his  getting  any 
children  to  inherit  those  places  which  himself  was  next  heir 
to,  he  first  directed  his  eyes  to  be  pulled  out,  and  then  that 
he  should  be  castrated :  but  vengeance  did  not  permit  such 
a  base  action  to  go  unpunished ;  for  upon  the  Saturday 
following,  a  great  army  of  Normans  and  Englishmen  came 
unexpectedly  before  the  town,  and  took  both  it  and  the 
castle,  notwithstanding  all  the  opposition  which  Howel  and 
his  father  lorwerth  made ;  though  this  last  was  not  privy  to 
his  son's  cruel  action.  About  the  same  time  King  Henry 
came  over  to  England,  and  a  little  after  his  arrival,  William 
King  of  Scots,  and  Roger  de  Moubray,  were  taken  prisoners 
at  Alnewike  by  the  Barons  of  the  north,  as  they  came  to 
destroy  the  northern  part  of  the  country  in  the  name  of  the 
young  King.  But  old  King  Henry  having  committed  them 
to  the  safe  custody  of  the  Earl  of  Leicester,  and  pardoned 
Hugh  By  god  Earl  of  Chester,  who  had  submitted  to  him, 
he  returned  to  Normandy  with  a  very  considerable  army 
of  Welshmen,  which  David  Prince  of  North  Wales  had  sent 
him  i  in  return  for  which,  he  gave  him  his  sister  Emma  in 
marriage.*  When  he  was  arrived  in  Normandy,  he  sent  a 
detachment  of  the  Welsh  to  cut  off  some  provisions  that 
were  on  their  way  to  the  enemy's  camp  ;  but  in  the  mean 
time  the  French  King  came  to  a  treaty  of  peace,  which  was 
shortly  afterwards  concluded  upon  ;  so  that  all  the  brethren 
who  had  during  this  time  maintained  such  an  unnatural 
rebellion  against  their  father,  were  forced  to  ask  the  old 
king's  forgiveness  and  pardon  for  all  their  former  mis- 
demeanours. David  Prince  of  North  Wales  began  to  grow 
very  bold  and  assuming,  in  consequence  of  his  new  alliance 
with  the  King  of  England  ;  and  nothing  would  serve  him, 
but  he  must  put  his  brother  Roderic  in  prison,  and  secure 
him  with  fetters,  for  no  other  reason  than  because  he 
demanded  his  share  of  his  father's  lands.  It  was  the  custom 
of  Wales,  as  is  before  stated,  to  make  an  equal  division  of 
the  father's  inheritance  between  all  the  children;  and, 
therefore,  David  had  no  colour  of  reason  or  pretence  to 
deal  so  severely  with  his  brother,  unless  it  were  to  verify  the 
proverb — Might  overcomes  right.  Though  Prince  David 

*  By  this  princess  David  had  a  son  named  Owen.— See  Hist,  of  Gwedir  Family,  p,  12. 


could  depend  much  upon  his  affinity  with  the  King  of  Eng- 
land ;  yet  Rhys  Prince  of  South  Wales  gained  his  favour 
and  countenance  still  more,  because  he  let  slip  no  oppor- 
tunity to  further  the  king's  interest  and  affairs  in  Wales,  and 
by  that  means  was  a  very  necessary  and  useful  instrument  in 
keeping  under  the  Welsh,  and  in  promoting  the  surer  settle- 
ment of  the  English  in  the  country — not  that  he  bore  any 
affection  to  either  King  Henry  or  his  subjects,  but  because 
he  was  sufficiently  rewarded  for  former  services,  and  was 
still  in  expectation  of  receiving  more  favours  at  the  king's 
hands ;  and  he  was  resolved  to  play  the  politician  so  far,  as 
to  have  more  regard  to  his  own  interest  than  to  the  good  of 
his  native  country.  What  ingratiated  him  with  King  Henry 
most  of  all  was  this :  upon  the  feast  of  St.  James  he  brought 
all  such  lords  of  South  Wales  as  were  at  enmity  with  the 
king,  to  do  him  homage  at  Gloucester ;  namely,  Cadwalhon 
ap  Madawc  of  Melyenyth,  his  cousin-german  ;  Eineon  Clyt 
of  Elvel,  and  Eineon  ap  Rhys  of  Gwerthrynion,  his  sons-in- 
law  ;  Morgan  ap  Caradoc  ap  lestyn  of  Glamorgan ;  GrufFydh 
ap  Ifor  ap  Meiric  of  Sengennyth,  and  Sitsylht  ap  Dyfnwal  of 
Higher  Gwent,  all  three  his  brothers-in-law  (having  married 
his  sisters);  together  with  lorwerth  ap  Owen  of  Caerlheon. 
King  Henry  was  so  much  pleased  with  this  act  of  Rhys, 
that  notwithstanding  these  persons  had  been  his  implacable 
enemies,  he  readily  granted  them  their  pardon,  and  received 
them  to  favour  ;  and  restored  to  lorwerth  ap  Owen  the  town 
and  castle  of  Caerlheon,  which  he  had  unjustly  taken  from 

This  reconciliation  betwixt  King  Henry  and  these  Welsh  A.D.  1175. 
lords  some  of  the  English  in  Wales  took  advantage  of,  and 
more  particularly  William  de  Bruce  Lord  of  Brecknock, 
who  for  a  long  time  had  had  a  great  desire  to  obtain  Gwent- 
land,  but  could  not  bring  about  his  design,  because  Sitsylht 
ap  Dyfnwal,  the  person  of  greatest  sway  and  power  in  the 
country,  was  an  inveterate  enemy  to  all  the  English  :  but  he 
being  now  reconciled  to  the  King,  William  de  Bruce,  under 
pretence  of  congratulating  him  on  this  new  peace  and 
agreement  between  the  English  and  Welsh,  invited  Sitsylht 
and  Geoffry  his*  son,  with  several  others  of  the  persons  of 
chief  note  in  Gwentland,  to  a  feast  in  his  castle  of  Aberga- 
venriy,  which  by  composition  he  had  lately  received  from 
them.  Sitsylht,  with  the  rest,  came  according  to  appoint- 
ment, and  without  the  least  suspicion  of  any  treasonable 
design :  but  after  they  had  been  civilly  entertained  for  some 
time,  William  de  Bruce,  to  move  a  quarrel  against  them, 
began  at  last  to  propound  certain  articles  to  them,  to  be  by 


186  t  HISTORY  OF  WALES. 

them  kept  and  performed ;  and  among  other  unreasonable 
conditions,  they  were  to  swear  that  none  of  them  should 
at  any  time  carry  with  them  bow  or  sword.  The  Welsh 
refusing  to  consent  to  and  sign  such  improper  articles  as 
these,  William  de  Bruce  presently  called  out  his  men,  who 
were  ready  for  that  purpose,  and  bidding  them  fall  to  their 
business,  they  most  treacherously  fell  upon  and  slew  the 
innocent  and  unarmed  Welsh  :*  and  as  if  this  act  did  not 
sufficiently  express  Bruce's  cruelty  and  inhumanity,  his  men 
immediately  went  to  Sitsylht's  house,  which  stood  not  far 
from  Abergavenny,  and  taking  hold  of  Gwladus  his  wife, 
they  slew  her  son  Cadwalader  before  her  face,  and  then 
setting  fire  to  the  house,  they  took  her  away  to  the  castle. f 
This  execrable  murder  being  thus  most  barbarously  and 
(which  was  worst  of  all)  under  pretence  of  kindness  com- 
mitted, William  de  Bruce,  to  cloak  his  treason  with  some 
reasonable  excuse,  and  to  make  the  world  believe  it  was  not 
for  any  private  interest  or  expectation  he  had  done  such  an 
act  as  he  knew  would  be  by  all  men  abhorred,  Caused  it  to 
be  reported  that  he  had  done  it  in  revenge  of  the  death  of 
his  uncle  Henry  of  Hereford,  whom  the  Welsh  on  the 
Easter-Even  before  had  slain.  Whilst  these  things  passed 
in  South  Wales,  Roderic,  brother  to  David  Prince  of  North 
Wales,  made  his  escape  out  of  prison,  and  fleeing  to  Angle- 
sey, he  was  received  and  acknowledged  by  all  the  country 
on  that  side  the  river  Conway  for  their  lord  and  prince ; 
which  they  were  the  more  willing  to  do  because  they  had 
conceived  an  utter  abhorrence  of  Prince  David,  who,  con- 
trary to  all  rules  of  equity,  and  almost  nature,  had  disinhe- 
rited the  whole  of  his  brethren  and  cousins,  relying  upon  his 
affinity  and  relation  to  the  king  of  England.  David,  per- 
ceiving the  storm  to  grow  very  violent,  and  that  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  country  flocked  in  numbers  and  adhered  to  his 
brother  Cadwalader,  thought  it  best  to  wait  awhile  till  the 
storm  was  abated,  and  so  retired  over  the  river  Conway.  § 
Towards  the  end  of  this  year,  Cadelh,  the  son  of  Gruffydh 
ap  Rhys  and  brother  to  Lord  Rhys,  after  a  tedious  fit  of 
sickness,  having  taken  upon  him  the  Monkish  order,  de- 
parted this  life,  and  his  body  was  very  honourably  interred 
at  Stratflur. 

A.  D.  1176.  In  the  spring  of  the  following  year  died  also  David 
Fitz-Gerald,  Bishop  of  Menevia  or  St.  David,  whose  see 
was  supplied  by  one  Piers,  being  nominated  thereunto  by 
the  king  of  England :  but  what  happened  most  remarkable 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  110.  f  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  236,  237. 

§  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  236,  237. 


this  year  was,  that  the  Lord  Rhys,  Prince  of  South  Wales, 
made  a  very  great  feast  at  Christmas  in  his  castle  of  Aber- 
teifi,  which  he  caused  to  be  proclaimed  through  all  Britain, 
Ireland,  and  the  islands  adjacent,  a  considerable  time  before; 
and  according  to  their  invitation,  many  hundreds  of  English, 
Normans,  and  others  coming  to  Aberteifi,  were  very  honour- 
ably received  and  courteously  entertained  by  Prince  Rhys. 
Among  other  tokens  of  their  welcome  and  entertainment, 
Rhys  caused  all  the  bards  or  poets  throughout  Wales  to 
come  thither ;  and  for  a  better  diversion  to  the  company,  he 
provided  chairs  to  be  set  in  the  hall,  in  which  the  bards 
being  seated,  they  were  to  answer  each  other  in  rhyme,  and 
those  that  acquitted  themselves  most  handsomely  and  out- 
vied the  rest  were  promised  great  rewards  and  rich  presents. 
In  this  poetical  competition,  the  North  Wales  bards  ob- 
tained the  victory,  with  the  applause  and  approbation  of  the 
whole  company;  and  among  the  professors  of  musick,  be- 
tween whom  there  was  no  small  strife,  Prince  Rhys's  own  A.D.  1177. 
servants  were  accounted  the  most  expert.  Notwithstanding 
this  civil  and  obliging  treatment  of  Prince  Rhys,  the  Nor- 
mans upon  the  marches  resorted  to  their  accustomed  manner 
of  treacherously  way-laying  and  privately  assaulting  the 
harmless  and  undesigning  Welsh;  and  in  consequence, 
Eineon  Clyt,  son-in-law  of  Rhys,  and  Morgan  ap  Meredith, 
falling  into  the  net  which  the  Normans  had  deceitfully  laid 
for  them,  were  treacherously  murdered :  therefore,  to  keep 
the  Normans  under  greater  awe  for  the  future,  Prince  Rhys 
built  a  castle  at  Rhayadr  Gwy,  being  a  place  where  the 
river  Wye  falls  with  much  noise  and  precipitation  down  a 
great  rock.  This  castle  promised  to  be  required  to  stand  1179. 
him  in  a  double  stead;  for  soon  after  he  had  finished  it,  the 
sons  of  Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh  made  war  against  him, 
but  finding  upon  trial  that  their  design  against  Rhys  was 
impracticable,  they  thought  it  most  advisable  to  retire  back 
to  North  Wales. 

The  next  year,  Cadwalader,  brother  to  Owen  Gwynedh,  1179. 
and  uncle  to  David  and  Roderic,  who  for  fear  of  his  brother 
had  some  time  ago  fled  for  refuge  to  the  king  of  England,  as 
he  was  being  conveyed  home  by  some  of  the  king's  servants, 
to  enjoy  his  patrimonial  estates  in  Wales,  was  by  those 
barbarous  and  treacherous  villains  murdered  on  his  journey.* 
This  year  the  sepulchre  of  the  famous  and  noble  British 
King  Arthur,  with  his  wife  Gwenhofar  (by  the  means  of 


*  All  the  persons  concerned  in  the  murder  were  condemned  to  the  gibbet. — Matthew 
Paris,  p.  116,  says  it  was  Cadwalhon  that  was  murdered ;  but  he  was  slain  before  the 
death  of  his  father.  —See  Memoirs  of  Gwedir  Family,  p.  1.  Welsh  Chron.  p.  238. 


some  Welsh  bard  whom  King  Henry  had  heard  at  Pem- 
broke relate  in  a  song  the  worthy  and  mighty  acts  of  that 
great  prince  and  the  place  where  he  was  buried),  was  found 
in  the  isle  of  Afalon,  without  the  Abbey  of  Glastonbury, 
their  bodies  being  laid  in  a  hollow  elder  tree,  buried  15  feet 
in  the  earth.  The  bones  of  King  Arthur  were  of  marvel- 
lous and  almost  incredible  size,  and  there  were  ten  wounds 
in  the  skull,  whereof  one  being  considerably  larger  than  the 
rest  seemed  to  have  been  his  death-blow ;  and  the  Queen's 
hair  appeared  to  the  sight  to  be  fair  and  yellow,  but  when 
touched,  crumbled  immediately  to  dust.  Over  the  bones 
was  laid  a  stone,  with  a  cross  of  lead,  upon  the  lower  side  of 
which  stone  were  engraven  these  words : 


Here  lies   buried  the  famous   King  Arthur  in  the  isle 
of  Afalon. 

No  action  of  moment  had  passed  in  Wales  for  a  consider- 
able time,  and  the  Welsh  were  in  perfect  amity  and  concord 
with  the  king  of  England  ;  but  an  unlucky  accident  fell  qut 
at  length  to  dissolve  this  happy  agreement.     One  Ranulph 
A.D.  Poer,  who  was  sheriff  of  Gloucestershire,  or  rather  (as 
Giraldus  Cambrensis  observes)  of  Herefordshire,  being  a 
cruel  and  unreasonable  oppressor  of  the  Welsh,  put  the 
Lord  of  Gwentland  to  death ;  in  revenge  of  whom  a  certain 
young  person  of  that  country  set  upon  Ranulph  with  several 
other  gentlemen  his  companions,  and  slew  them  to  a  man.* 
King  Henry  was  so  much  enraged  on  hearing  of  it,  that  he 
immediately  raised  and  assembled  all  his  power,  and  came 
to  Worcester,   intending  to  march  forward  to  Wales  and 
invade  the  country :  but  Lord  Rhys  ap  Gruffydh,  a  subtle 
and  politic  prince,  thinking  it  impossible  to  withstand  the 
English  army,  and  fearing  the  king's  power  and  determina- 
tion, which  he  perceived  to  be  so  implacably  bent  against 
the  Welsh,   went  in  person  to  Worcester,  and  swearing 
fealty  to  the  king,  became  his  perpetual  liege-man;  and  for 
the  due  performance  of  this  contract,  he  promised  to  send 
his  sons  and  nephews  for  pledges. f     When,  however,  he 
would  have  persuaded  them  to  answer  his  request,    the 
young  men  considering  with  themselves  that  former  pledges 
had  not  been  very  well  treated  by  the  English,  refused  to 
go,J  and  so  the  whole  matter  rested  for  that  time :  what 


*  Giraldus  Cambrensis  Itin.  lib.  i.  c.  6.— Roger  Hovedon,  p.  617. 
t  Holinshead,  p.  108.— Benedict.  Abbas,  vol.  ii.  p.  411.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  240. 



became  of  the  affair  afterwards  we  know  not;  but  it  is 
probable  that  King  Henry  returned  to  England  satisfied 
with  Rhys's  submission,  for  we  hear  no  more  of  his  expedi- 
tion to  Wales;  and  so  the  country  remained  undisturbed 
for  a  long  time,  till  at  length  the  Welsh  began  to  fall  to 
their  wonted  method  of  destroying  one  another.  Cadwala-  A-D- 
der,  son  of  Prince  Rhys,  was  privately  murdered  in  West 
Wales,  and  buried  in  the  Ty  Gwyn.  The  year  following,  ii87. 
Owen  Fychan,  the  son  of  Madawc  ap  Meredith,  was  slain 
by  night  in  the  castle  of  Carreghova,  near  Oswestry,  by 
Gwenwynwyn  and  Cadwalhon,  the  sons  of  Owen  Cyfeilioc : 
but  what  was  most  unnatural  of  all,  Lhewelyn  (whose  father, 
Cadwalhon  ap  Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  was  lately  mnrdered  by 
the  Englishmen)  was  taken  by  his  own  brothers,  who  bar- 
barously put  out  his  eyes.  About  the  same  time,  Baldwyn, 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  attended  by  Giraldus  Cam- 
brensis,  took  a  progress  into  Wales,  being  the  first  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  which  visited  that  country;  whose 
authority  the  clergy  of  Wales  in  vain  opposed,  though  they 
obstinately  alleged  the  liberties  and  privilejges  of  their  metro- 
politan church  of  St.  David.  In  this  visitation,  described 
by  Giraldus  in  his  Itinerarium  Cambria?,  he  persuaded 
many  of  the  nobility  of  Wales  to  go  to  the  Holy  Land, 
against  those  enemies  of  Christianity  the  Saracens,  to  whose  1188. 
power  Jerusalem  itself  was  now  in  great  danger  of  becoming 
subject.  The  Archbishop  having  left  the  country,  Maelgon, 
the  son  of  Lord  Rhys,  brought  all  his  forces  against  Ten- 
by,  and  making  himself  master  of  it,  he  burnt  the  whole 
town  to  the  ground,  and  carried  away  considerable  spoil. 
Maelgon  was  a  person  of  such  civil  behaviour  and  easy 
access,  of  so  comely  personage,  and  of  such  honesty  in  all 
his  actions,  that  lie  attracted  the  most  earnest  love  and 
affection  of  all  his  friends ;  by  which  means  he  became  very 
terrible  and  formidable  to  his  enemies,  especially  the 
Flemings,  over  whom  he  obtained  several  victories. 

The  next  year,  being  the  year  of  Christ  1189,  Henry  the  1189. 
Second,  surnamed  Courtmantle,  King  of  England,  died, 
and  was  buried  at  Fonteverard;  after  whom,  his  son 
Richard,  called  Coeur  de  Lion,  was  by  the  unanimous  con- 
sent of  all  the  nobility  of  England  crowned  in  his  place. 
Prince  Rhys  being  thus  deprived  of  his  greatest  friend, 
thought  it  most  wise  to  make  the  best  provision  he  could 
for  himself,  by  enlarging  his  dominions,  and  extending  the 
bounds  of  his  present  territories;  and  therefore,  having 
raised  all  the  strength  he  could,  he  took  the  castles  of 
Seynclere,  Abercorran,  and  Lhanstephan;  and  having  taken 



and  committed  to  prison  Maelgon  his  son,  who  was  the 
greatest  thorn  in  his  side,  and  one  that  was  most  passion- 
ately beloved  by  the  men  of  South  Wales,  he  brought  the 
A.D.  1190.  whole  country  to  his  subjection.  Then  he  built  the  castle 
of  Cydwely;  but  the  joy  of  all  this  good  fortune  was  taken 
from  him  by  the  loss  of  his  daughter  Gwenlhian,  a  woman 
of  such  incomparable  beauty,  and  so  far  excelling  in  all 
feminine  qualifications,  that  she  was  accounted  the  fairest 
and  most  accomplished  lady  in  all  the  country.  Soon  after 

1191.  her  died  Gruffydh  Maylor,  Lord  of  Bromfield,*  a  man  of 
great  prudence  and  experience,  and  one  that  excelled  all  the 
nobility  of  his  time  in  hospitality,  and  in  all  other  acts  of 
generosity   and   liberality.      His    corpse    was    carried    to 
Meivod,  and  honourably  interred  there,  being  attended  by 
most  of  the  persons  of  quality  throughout  the  whole  coun- 
try.    He  had  issue  by  his  wife   Angharad,  daughter  of 
Owen  Gwynedh  Prince  of   North   Wales,   a    son   called 
Madawc,  who  succeeded  his  father  in  that  part  of  Powys, 
called  from  him  Powys  Fadawc.     Rhys,  Prince  of  South 
Wales,  was  growing  very  powerful,  and  had  made  himself 
master   of  the   greatest  part  of  South   Wales,  excepting 
Dynefawr,  with  some  few  other  places  which  still  held  out. 
Dynefawr,  however,  upon  the  first  assault  he  made  against 
it,  was  delivered  up  to  him :    but  as  he  increased  in  the 
number  of  towns  and  castles,  he  had  the  misfortune  to  have 
that  of  his  children  diminished ;  for  his  daughter  Gwenlhian 
was  lately  deceased  ;  and  now  he  had  no  sooner  got  Dyne- 
fawr castle  into  his  possession,  than  his  son  Owen  died  at 
Strata  Florida,  otherwise  called  Ystratflur.      King  Richard 
was  gone  to  the  Holy  Land  against  the  Saracens ;  but  on 
his  return  to  England,  he  obtained  the  kingdom  of  Cyprus, 
and  gave  it  to  Guido  King  of  Jerusalem,  upon  condition  he 
would  resign  his  former  title  to  him :    during  his  stay  in  this 
island,  he  married  Berengaria  the  daughter  of  the  King  of 

1192.  Maelgon,  son  of  Prince  Rhys,  had  been  now  detained  a 
long  time  in  the  prison  where  his  father  had  shut  him  up  ; 
but  being  at  last  utterly  weary  of  his  close  confinement,  he 
found  means  to  make  his  escape.     His  father  Prince  Rhys 
was  not  so  much  troubled  at  Maelgon  having  escaped  and 
obtained  his  liberty,  as  at  his  being  obliged  to  give  over  the 
career  of  conquest  which   all  this  while  he  had  gone  so 
furiously  on  with ;  but  laying  siege  to  Lhanhayaderi  castle 
he  took  it  without  any  great  opposition,  and  brought  all  the 


*  He  was.the  son  of  Madoc  ap  Meredith,  the  son  of  Bleddyn  ap  Cynvyn,  and  was  lord 
of  the  two  Bromfields  and  Mochnant-is-Rhaiadcr. 


country  thereabout  to  bis  subjection.  What  favoured  him 
more  in  his  attempts  against  the  English  was  this,  King 
Richard  having  signalized  himself  greatly  against  the 
infidels,  in  his  return  home  through  Austria,  was  taken 
prisoner  by  Duke  Leopold,  who  presented  him  to  the 
Emperor  Henry,  who  demanded  200,000  marks  for  his  A.  D.  1193. 
ransom,  laying  to  his  charge,  that  he  had  spoiled  and 
plundered  the  island  of  Sicily  in  his  voyage  to  the  Holy 
Land;  and  Rhys  took  the  advantage  of  King  Richard's 
absence  to  subject  South  Wales  ;  so  Roderic  brother  to 
David  Prince  of  North  Wales,  made  use  of  the  aid  of 
Gothrik,  the  King  of  Man,  to  get  the  principality  of  North 
Wales  to  himself,  and  eject  his  brother;  and,  therefore, 
entering  into  Anglesey,  he  quickly  reduced  the  whole  island 
to  his  subjection ;  but  he  did  not  enjoy  it  long,  for  before 
the  year  was  over,  the  sons  of  his  brother  Conan  came  with 
an  army  against  him,  and  forcing  him,  together  with  the 
king  of  Man,  to  flee  from  the  island,  they  took  immediate 
possession  of  it  themselves.  While  these  things  were  done 
in  North  Wales,  Maelgon,  son  of  Prince  Rhys  of  South 
Wales,  who  lately  escaped  from  prison,  besieged  Ystrad- 
meyric  castle,  and  after  but  little  opposition  got  it  into  his 
own  hands  upon  Christmas  night ;  which  encouraged  him 
to  farther  attempts.  At  the  same  time,  his  brother  Howel 
(surnamed  Sais,  or  the  Englishman,  because  he  had  served 
for  some  time  under  the  king  of  England),  another  son  of 
Prince  Rhys,  obtained  by  surprise  the  castle  of  Gwys,  and 
having  secured  Philip  de  Gwys  the  owner,  with  his  wife 
and  two  sons,  he  made  them  all  prisoners  of  war.  Then 
the  two  brothers,  Howel  and  Maelgon,  joined  their  forces ; 
but  fearing  that  they  had  more  castles  than  they  were  able 
to  defend,  they  deemed  it  expedient  to  rase  Lhanhayaden 
castle,  which  the  Flemings  having  notice  of,  they  gathered 
all  their  power  together,  and  coming  to  Lhanhayaden  at  the 
day  appointed,  they  unexpectedly  set  upon  the  Welsh,  and 
slew  a  great  number  of  them.  Notwithstanding  this  un- 
happy occurrence,  they  persisted  in  their  determination  to 
destroy  the  castle,  and  so  coming  to  Lhanhayaden  the 
second  time,  they  rased  it  to  the  ground  without  any 
molestation.  When  Anarawd,  another  son  of  Prince  Rhys, 
saw  how  prosperously  his  brothers  succeeded,  he  thought 
to  make  himself  as  rich  as  they,  and  by  a  shorter  and  easier 
method ;  and  therefore  having,  under  a  pretence  of  friend- 
ship and  regard,  got  his  brothers  Howel  and  Madawc  in 
private,  being  moved  with  ambition  and  covetousness  to 
enjoy  their  estates,  he  first  made  them  prisoners  and  then 



very  unnaturally  pulled  out  their  eyes:  but  Maelgon 
escaped  this  snare,  and  hearing  what  a  foul  action  was  com- 
mitted, he  promised  his  brother  Anarawd  the  castle  of 
Ystradmeyric  in  exchange  for  the  liberty  and  release  of  his 
A.  D.  1194-  two  brothers,  which  Anarawd  granted.  It  is,  however,  no 
wonder  those  brothers  could  be  unnatural  and  cruel  to  one 
another,  when  they  could  join  together  in  rebellion  against 
their  father ;  for  Prince  Rhys  having  rebuilt  the  castle  of 
Rhayadr  Gwy,  was  waylaid  and  taken  prisoner  by  his  own 
sons,  who  were  afraid  that  if  their  father  had  them  once  in 
his  power,  he  would  severely  revenge  their  cruel  and  unna- 
tural deeds :  but  Howel  proved  more  kind  and  dutiful  than 
the  rest ;  for  though  he  was  blind,  he  found  a  way  to  let 
his  father  escape  out  of  Maelgon 's  prison,  and  so  Prince 
Rhys  being  set  at  liberty,  he  took  and  destroyed  the  castle 
of  Dynefawr,  which  belonged  to  his  son  Maelgon :  yet 
notwithstanding  he  succeeded  in  his  attempt,  he  lost  another 
castle  elsewhere ;  for  the  sons  of  Cadwalhon  ap  Madawc  of 
Melyenydh  being  informed  that  Prince  Rhys  was  detained 
prisoner  by  his  son  Maelgon,  they  besieged  Rhayadr  Gwy 
castle,  which  being  surrendered  to  them  they  fortified  for 
their  own  use. 

Whilst  these  unhappy  differences  and  unnatural  contests 
betwixt  Prince  Rhys  and  his  sons  continued  and  raged  in 
South  Wales,  a  new  revolution  of  affairs  happened  in  North 
Wales.  Prince  David  had  enjoyed  the  sceptre  of  North 
W7ales  for  above  twenty-four  years,  and  it  might  have  been 
supposed  that  so  long  a  possession  would  have  made  him 
so  secure  in  his  throne  that  it  could  not  be  very  easy  to  pull 
him  down :  but  possession  is  not  always  the  best  defence, 
as  was  proved  in  Prince  David's  case  at  this  time;  for 
Lhewelyn,  the  son  of  lorwerth  Drwyndwn,  who  was  the 
eldest  son  of  Owen  Gwynedh,  Prince  of  North  Wales, 
being  now  arrived  to  years  of  maturity,  and  having  sense 
enough  to  understand  that  he  had  a  just  title  and  claim  to 
the  principality  of  North  Wales,  of  which  his  uncle  David 
had  so  unjustly  deprived  him,  he  thought  it  high  time  to 
endeavour  to  recover  what  was  lawfully  his  own,  which 
however  he  was  well  persuaded  his  uncle  David  would 
never  easily  part  with :  and  therefore,  being  well  assured 
that  the  justness  of  his  title  would  never  advance  him  to  the 
throne,  unless  he  had  an  army  at  his  heels  to  support  his 
claim,  he  called  together  all  his  friends  and  relations  by  his 
mother's  side,  who  was  Marred  the  daughter  of  Madawc  ap 
Meredith,  Prince  of  Powys,  and  having  secured  the  aid  of 
his  cousins,  the  sons  of  Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh  and 



Rhoclri  ap  Owen,  he  came  into  North  Wales,  proclaiming 
that,  contrary  to  all  justice,  his  uncle  David  had  first  dis- 
inherited his  father  lorwerth,  and  then  had  kept  the  govern- 
ment from  him  who  was  the  right  heir:  and  though  his 
father  lorwerth  had  been  incapable  of  taking  upon  him  the 
government  by  reason  of  some  infirmity ;  yet  there  was  no 
reason  that  his  father's  weakness  should  exclude  and  deprive 
him  of  his  inheritance ;  and,  therefore,  being  now  sensible 
of  that  right  which  in  his  youth  he  had  not  so  well  under- 
stood, he  laid  claim  to  the  principality,  which  was  justly  his 
own.  There  was  no  great  need  of  inspiration  to  understand 
his  claim,  nor  of  much  rhetorick  to  persuade  the  people  to 
own  him  for  their  prince,  for  their  affection  had  been 
alienated  from  David  ever  since  he  had  dealt  so  unnaturally 
with  his  brothers,  whom,  after  he  had  deprived  of  their 
estates,  he  banished  out  of  the  country ;  and  therefore  before 
Lhewelyn  could  have  expected  any  sure  footing,  the  whole 
country  of  North  Wales  was  at  his  devotion,  excepting  cnly 
three  castles,  which  David,  by  the  help  of  the  English,  on 
whom,  by  reason  of  his  affinity  with  the  late  King  Henry, 
he  much  depended,  kept  to  himself.  David  being  thus 
deprived  of  almost  all  that  he  formerly  possessed,  we  shall 
account  him  no  more  among  the  princes  of  North  Wales, 
but  trace  the  history  of  the  principality  as  restored  to  the 
true  heir  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth. 


J..JHEWELYN  ap  lorwerth,  the  son  of  Owen  Gwynedh,  A.  D.  1194. 
liaving  thus  successfully  established  his  just  claim  to  the    .51h  of 
dominion  of  North  Wales,  and  being  quietly  settled  in  the  Rlchard  L* 
government  thereof,  Roger  Mortimer  marched  with  a  strong 
body  to  Melyenith,  and  built  the  castle  of  Cymarori,  whereby 
he  reduced  that  country  to  his  subjection,  and  forced  thence 
the  two  sons  of  Cadwalhon  ap  Madawc  that  were  governors 
thereof.     About  this  time  Rhys  and  Meredith,  two  valiant* 
but  undutiful  sons  of  Prince  Rhys,  having  got  together  a 
body  of  hot-headed,  daring  soldiers,  came  before  Dynefawr, 
and  took  the  castle  that  was  garrisoned  by  their  father's 
men :  hence  they  proceeded  to  Cantref-bychan,  where  the 


*  Tn  the  first  year  of  King  Richard's  reign,  Rhys  ap  Gruffydd  came  into  England  as 
far  as  Oxford,  conducted  by  the  Earl  of  Moreton  j  and  because  the  king  would  not 
personally  meet  the  said  Rhys  ap  Gruffydd,  as  his  father  had  done,  he  fjll  into  a  passion 
and  returned  to  his  own  country.— Brady's  History  of  England. 


inhabitants  civilly  received  them,  and  surrendered  the  castle 
to  them.     At  this  their  father  was  justly  incensed,  and  there- 
fore to  put  a   stop  to  their  farther  proceedings,  he  en- 
deavoured by  all  means  to  take  them,  which  not  long  after 
happened ;  for  their  adherents  being  touched  with  the  sense 
as  well  of  their  treason  against,  as  of  their  allegiance  due  to 
their  lawful  lord  Prince  Rhys,  and  being  anxious  to  atone 
for  their  past  faults,  and  to  procure  his  future  favour,  they 
betrayed  their  rebellious  leaders  to  their  offended  father, 
who  immediately  committed  them  to  safe  custody. 
A.  D.  1196.      I'he  ensuing  year  Prince  Rhys  levied  a  great  army,  whose 
first  attempt  was  upon  the  town  and  castle  of  Caermarthen, 
both  which  he  took  in  a  short  time  and  destroyed,  and  then 
returned  with  considerable  booty.    Soon  afterwards  he  led  the 
same  army  to  the  marches,  and  invested  the  castle  of  Clun, 
which  was  not  so  easily  taken  as  the  former ;  for  this  cost 
him  a  long  siege,  and  many  a  fierce  assault ;  and  therefore 
to  be  avenged,  when  he  took  it  he  laid  it  in  ashes ;  thence 
he  proceeded  to  the  castle  of  Radnor,  which  he  likewise 
captured ;  but  immediately  after  it  cost  him  a  bloody  battle ; 
for  he   was  no   sooner  master  of  the  castle,   but  Roger 
Mortimer    and    Hugh    de    Say   came   with    a    numerous 
and    well -disciplined   army,    consisting    of   Normans  and 
English,   to  the  relief  of   it.     Whereupon  Prince    Rhys 
thinking  it  not  his  best  course  to  confine  his  men  within  the 
walls,  led  them  up  into  a  campaign  ground  hard  by,  and 
there,  like  a  valiant  prince,  resolved  to  give  his  enemies 
battle,  though  they  had  much  the  advantage  of  him ;  for  his 
men  were  neither  so  well  armed,  nor  so  much  accustomed  to 
battle  as  the  others  were;   however,  their  courage  made 
amends  for  their  arms,  and  their  leader's  prudence  and  con- 
duct supplied  the  defects  of  their  discipline ;  for  they  chose 
rather  to  die  honourably  in  the  defence  of  their  country, 
than  shamefully  to  survive  the  loss  of  it ;  and  therefore  they 
attacked  their  enemies  so  valiantly,  that  they  were  not  long 
able  to  withstand  their  force,  but  quitted  the  field  in  great 
disorder,  leaving  a  great  number  of  their  men  slain  upon 
the  spot;   and  Prince  Rhj's  pursued  them  so  closely,  that 
they  were  glad  of  the  shelter  of  the  night  to  protect  them 
from  his  fury.     After  this  victory  he  besieged  the  castle  of 
Payne  in  Elfel,  which  he  easily  took,  and  kept  in  his  own 
hands,  till  William  de  Bruce,  the  owner  thereof,  came  to 
him,  and  humbly  desired  peace  of  him,  which  he  granted 
him,  and  withal  delivered  him  up  his  castle  again.*     Not 
long  after,  the  archbishop  of    Canterbury    (whom  King 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  247, 248. 


Richard  had  substituted  his  lieutenant  in  England)  marched 
with  a  powerful  army  towards  Wales>  and  besieged  the 
castle  of  Gwenwynwyn,  at  Pool;*  but  the  garrison  made 
such  a  vigorous  defence,  that  he  lost  a  great  many  of  his 
men,  and  all  his  attempts  proved  ineffectual ;  therefore  he 
sent  for  some  pioneers,  whom  he  ordered  to  undermine  the 
walls  ;  which  when  the  besieged  understood,  they  en- 
deavoured to  secure  themselves  on  the  most  honourable 
terms  they  couldj  being  unwilling  to  put  themselves  to  the 
hazard  of  a  battle,  because  their  enemies  were  thrice  their 
number ;  therefore  they  proposed  to  surrender  up  the 
castle,  on  condition  they  should  carry  off  all  their  arms 
along  with  them :  which  offer  the  archbishop  accepted,  and 
so  permitted  the  garrison  to  march  out  quietly.  Then 
fortifying  the  castle  for  the  king's  use,  and  putting  a  strong 
garrison  in  it  for  its  defence,  he  returned  again  to  England. 
Gwenwynwyn,  however,  was  not  so  willing  to  part  with  his 
castle,  as  not  to  attempt  the  recovery  of  it ;  therefore  as  soon 
as  he  understood  that  the  archbishop  was  gone  back,  he 
immediately  besieged  it,  and  shortly  afterwards  received  it 
on  the  same  terms  that  his  men  had  delivered  it  up,  and  he 
then  kept  it  for  his  own  use.f 

The  following  year  there  broke  out  a  terrible  plague,  A.  D.  1197. 
which  spread  over  all  Britain  and  France,  and  carried  off  a 
great  number  of  the  nobility,  besides  common  people.  This 
year  likewise  died  the  valiant  Rhys,  Prince  of  South 
Wales  :J  the  only  stay  and  defence  of  that  part  of  the  princi- 
pality, for  he  it  was  that  obtained  for  them  their  liberty,  and 
secured  it  to  them.  He  often  very  readily  exposed  his  own 
life  for  the  defence  of  theirs  and  their  country ;  generally  he 
obtained  the  victory  over  his  enemies^  and  at  last  either 
brought  them  entirely  under  his  subjection,  or  forced  them 
to  quit  their  country.  He  was  no  less  illustrious  for  his 
virtuous  endowments,  than  for  his  valour  and  extraction ;  so 
that  it  was  with  good  reason  that  the  British  bards  and 
others  wrote  so  honourably  of  him,  and  so  much  deplored 
his  death. 

To  this  prince  were  born  many  sons  and  daughters, 
whereof  his  eldest  son  Gruffydh  succeeded  him  :  the  others 
were  Cadwalhon,  Maelgon,  'Meredith,  and  Rhys.  Of  his 

o  2 

*  Powys  Castle,  near  Welsh  Pool. — Roger  Hovedon,  p.  775* 

t  Welsh  Chron.p.248. 

J  He  was  interred  in  the  Abbey  of  Strata  Florida  (Ystrad  Flur),  in  the  county  of 
Cardigan,  which  he  himself  had  erected ;  and  which  became  the  burial-place  of  the 
succeeding  lords  of  his  family.— Manuscript  of  Edward  Llwyd,  in  Sir  John  Seahright's 
Collection.  Brit.  Ant.  Rev.  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  19.  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  247,  248. 


daughters,  one  called  Gwenlhian  was  married  to  Ednyfed 
Fychan,  ancestor  to  Owen  Tudor  that  married  Katharine 
queen-dowager  to  King  Henry  the  Fifth  :  and  the  rest  were 
very  well  matched  with  some  of  the  nobility  of  the  country. 
Prince  Gruffydh  being  settled  in  the  government  of  his 
country,  did  not  long  enjoy  it  peaceably;  for  his  trouble- 
some brother  Maelgon  thought  it  now  a  fit  time  to  endeavour 
the  recovery  of  the  inheritance  his  father  had  deprived  him 
of.  To  this  purpose  he  made  a  league  with  Gwenwynwyn, 
the  son  of  Owen  Cyfeilioc,  Lord  of  Powys,  and  by  their 
joint  interest  they  got  together  a  considerable  body  of  men, 
wherewith  they  surprised  Prince  Gruffydh  at  Aberystwyth, 
whom,  after  they  had  slain  a  great  many  of  his  men,  they 
took  prisoner.  Thus  Maelgon  effectually  accomplished  his 
design  in  the  recovery  of  the  castle,  and  the  whole  country 
of  Cardigan.  His  unfortunate  brother  he  committed  to  the 
custody  of  his  malicious  confederate  Gwenwynwyn,  who 
immediately  delivered  him  up  to  his  inveterate  enemies  the 
English.  After  this,  Gwenwynwyn,  having  assembled  to- 
gether an  army,  entered  Arustly,  and  brought  it  to  his 

David  ap  Owen,  whom  Prince  Lhewelyn  had  forced  to 
quit  his  usurpation  of  the  principality  of  North  Wales,  had 
hitherto  lived  quietly  and  peaceably,  not  so  much  out  of 
kindness  to  his  nephew,  as  because  he  knew  not  how  to 
avenge  himself;  but  now  having  assembled  a  great  army  of 
English  and  Welsh,  he  used  his  utmost  efforts  to  recover 
his  principality.  Whereupon  Prince  Lhewelyn,  who  was 
the  right  heir,  and  in  possession  of  it,  proceeded  boldly  to 
meet  him,  and  gave  him  battle,  wherein  he  completely 
routed  his  army,  and  took  his  uncle  David  prisoner,  whom 
he  delivered  into  safe  custody,  whereby  he  secured  to  him- 
self and  his  country  peace  and  quietness.  Towards  the 
close  of  this  year,  Owen  Cyfeilioc,*  lord  of  the  Higher  Powys, 
departed  this  life,  and  left  his  estate  to  Gwenwynwyn  his 
son ;  after  whom  that  part  of  Powys  was  called  Powys- 
Wenwynwyn,  to  distinguish  it  from  the  other  called  Powys- 
Fadoc,  the  inheritance  of  the  lords  of  Bromfield.  About 
this  time  Trahaern  Fychan,  a  man  of  great  power  and 
authority  in  the  county  of  Brecknock,  was  suddenly  seized 
upon  as  he  was  going  to  Llancors  to  confer  about  some 
business  with  William  de  Bruce  lord  thereof,  and  by  an 
order  of  that  lord,  he  was  tied  to  a  horse's  tail  and  dragged 
through  the  streets  of  Brecknock  to  the  gallows,  where  he 
was  beheaded,  and  his  body  hung  up  by  the  feet  for  three 

days ; 
*  This  prince  was  a  bard  of  some  eminence  j  a  few  poems  of  his  are  extant  at  this  day. 


days  ;*  which  barbarous  indignity,  inflicted  on  him  for  no 
known  just  cause,  so  much  alarmed  his  brother's  wife  and 
children,  that  they  fled  their  country  for  fear  of  the  same 
usage.  The  year  following  Maelgon,  who  had  before  routed  A.  D.  1198. 
the  army  of  his  brother  Prince  Gruffydh,  and  taken  him 
prisoner,  began  to  enlarge  his  territories,  and  included 
therein  his  brother's  castles  of  Aberteifi  and  Ystratmeyric. 
The  youngest  son  of  Prince  Rhys  about  this  time  also 
recovered  the  castle  of  Dynefawr  from  the  Normans. 

The  same  summer,  Gwenwynwyn  resolved  upon  en- 
deavouring to  extend  Wales  to  its  ancient  limits  ;  and  for  this 
purpose  he  raised  a  powerful  army,  with  which  he  first 
designed  to  be  avenged  of  William  de  Bruce  for  the  inhuman 
death  of  his  cousin  Trahaern  Fychan,  and  therefore  he 
besieged  his  castle  of  Payne  in  Elfel,f  where  he  made  a 
protestation,  that  as  soon  as  he  had  taken  it,  for  a  farther 
satisfaction  of  his  revenge,  he  would  unmercifully  ravage  the 
whole  country  as  far  as  Seyern :  but  these  mighty  menaces 
were  soon  dissipated ;  for  he  had  neither  battering  engines 
nor  pioneers,  so  that  he  was  forced  to  lay  before  the  castle 
for  three  weeks  without  effecting  any  thing;  whereby  the 
murderers  had  time  enough  to  apply  themselves  to  England 
for  succours,  which  they  obtained :  for  upon  information  of 
their  situation,  Geoffrey  Fitz-Peter,J  Lord  Chief  Justice  of 
England,  levied  a  considerable  army,  to  which  he  joined  all 
the  Lords  Marchers,  and  came  in  all  haste  to  the  relief  of 
the  place,  where  he  met  Gwenwynwyn ;  with  whom,  before 
he  would  hazard  a  battle,  he  was  desirous  to  have  a  treaty 
of  peace,  to  which  Gwenwynwyn  and  his  adherents  would 
not  give  any  attention,  but  returned  in  answer  to  his  mes- 
sage, that  their  business  there  was  to  be  revenged  of  in- 
juries that  had  been  done  to  them.  Hereupon  the  English 
lords  resolved  to  set  at  liberty  Prince  GrufFydh  of  South 
Wales,  whom  they  knew  to  be  an  inveterate  enemy  of 
Gwenwynwyn,  because  he  it  was  that  delivered  him  up  to 
their  hands ;  and  they  likewise  knew  that  he  was  a  man  of 
great  authority  in  his  country ;  therefore  they  rightly  con- 
cluded he  might  be  more  serviceable  to  them  when  at 
liberty  than  under  confinement,  and  therein  they  were  not 
disappointed;  for  he  immediately  got  together  a  strong 
body  of  his  countrymen,  and  joining  with  the  English, 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  250,  251.     Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Breviary,  p.  70. 

•f-  In  Radnorshire. 

J  Fitz  Peter  was  an  eminent  character;  he  was  dreaded  by  John,  who  yet  dared  not 
to  remove  him  from  his  great  office.  When  John  heard  of  his  death,  he  exultingly 
cried,  «  And  is  he  gone  then?  Well,  let  him  go  to  hell,  and  join  Archbishop  Hubert! 
By  God's  foot,  I  am  now,  for  the  first  time,  king  of  England,"'— Matthew  Paris. 


advanced  towards  the  castle,  where  they  furiously  attacked 
Gwenwynwyn,  who  made  an  equally  vigorous  defence ; 
upon  which  there  ensued  a  bloody  battle,  with  a  great 
slaughter  on  both  sides,  but  at  length  the  English  got  the 
victory,  and  Gwenwynwyn  lost  a  great  number  of  common 
soldiers  (if  we  believe  Matthew  Paris,*  3700  men)  besides 
a  great  many  of  his  best  commanders,  among  whom  were 
Anarawd  son  of  Eineon,  Owen  ap  Cadwalhon,  Richard  ap 
lestyn,  and  Robert  ap  Howel.  Meredith  ap  Conan  was 
likewise  taken  prisoner,  with  many  more.  After  this  the 
English  returned  home  triumphantly,  and  requited  Prince 
Gruflfydh's  service  by  restoring  him  to  complete  freedom, 
who  immediately,  partly  by  his  own  power,  and  partly  by 
the  affection  of  his  people,  re-possessed  himself  of  all  his 
dominions,  save  the  castles  of  Aberteifi  and  Ystratmeyric, 
which  his  usurping  brother  Maelgon,  by  the  assistance  of 
Gwenwynwyn,  had,  during  his  confinement  by  the  English, 
taken  from  him,  and  still  unjustly  detained.  Hereupon, 
some  of  Prince  Gruffydh's  prime  nobility  and  clergy  came 
to  him,  and  offered  their  endeavours  to  reconcile  him  to  his 
brother,  and  made  him  so  apprehensive  of  his  just  dis- 
pleasure towards  him,  that  he  took  a  solemn  oath  before 
them,  that  in  case  his  brother  would  give  him  hostages  for 
the  security  of  his  own  person,  he  would  deliver  him  up  his 
castle  of  Aberteifi  by  a  day  appointed  ;  which  proposals 
Prince  Gruffydh  accepted,  and  accordingly  sent  him  his 
demands ;  but  it  was  either  far  from  Maelgon's  intention  to 
make  good  his  offer,  or  else  he  was  very  inconstant  in  his 
resolution ;  for  he  had  no  sooner  received  the  hostages  than, 
instead  of  delivering  up  the  castle,  he  fortified  it,  and  put  in 
it  a  garrison  for  his  own  use,  and  committed  the  hostages  to 
the  custody  of  Gwenwynwyn,  Prince  Gruffydh's  mortal 
enemy;  but  not  long  after,  their  innoceney  procured  them 
an  opportunity  of  escape. 

A.  D.  1199.  In  the  year  1199,  Maelgon,  still  pursuing  his  hatred  of 
his  brother  Prince  Gruffydh,  assembled  an  army,  wherewith 
he  besieged  his  castle  of  Dynerth,  which  he  obtained  in  a 
short  time,  and  then  put  all  the  garrison  to  the  sword. 
About  the  same  time  Prince  Gruffydh,  on  the  other  hand, 
won  the  castle  of  Cilgerran,  and  strongly  fortified  it.  This 
year  Richard  the  First  of  England,  as  he  was  besieging  the 
castle  of  Chalonsf  in  France,  was  shot  from  the  walls  with 
an  arrow,  of  which  wound  he  soon  after  died,  and  left  his 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  162.— Holinshead,  p.  154.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  252,  speaks  of  the 
defeat,  but  not  of  the  number  slain. 

t  An  inconsiderable  town  in  Limosin. 


kingdom  to  his  brother  John,  who  was  with  great  solemnity 
crowned  at  Westminster :  but  he  could  not  have  expected 
to  enjoy  this  kingdom  peaceably;  for  his  elder  brother 
Geoffrey  Plantagenet  had  left  a  son  behind  him  named 
Arthur,  who  had  a  right  to  the  crown  of  England  by  lineal 
descent ;  which  he  therefore  justly  laid  claim  to,  and  by  the 
assistance  of  King  Philip  of  France  (who  espoused  his 
quarrel)  endeavoured  to  recover.  Before,  however,  Prince 
Arthur  had  made  sufficient  preparations  to  carry  on  his 
design,  he  was  unexpectedly  attacked  by  his  uncle,  his  army 
routed,  and  he  himself  taken  prisoner,  and  committed  to 
safe  custody ;  not  long  after  which  he  died,  and  thus  King 
John  was  rid  of  his  competitor. 

The  following  year  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh  A.  D.  1200. 
died,  and  was  buried  in  a  monk's  cowl  in  the  abbey  of 
Conway,  which  way  of  burying  was  very  much  practised 
(especially  by  persons  of  high  rank)  in  those  days ;  for  the 
monks  and  friars  had  deluded  the  people  into  a  strong 
conceit  of  the  merits  of  it,  and  had  firmly  persuaded  them  it 
was  highly  conducive  to  their  future  happiness  to  be  thus 
interred.  This  superstition,  together  with  the  propagators 
of  it,  they  had  lately  received  from  England :  for  the  first 
abbey  or  monastery  we  read  of  in  Wales,  after  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  famous  house  of  Bangor,  which  savoured  of  the 
Jlomish  errors,  was  the  Ty-Gwyn,  built  in  the  year  1146; 
after  which  they  much  increased  and  spread  over  all  the 
country  ;  and  now  the  fountain  head  began  to  be  corrupted ; 
for  the  clergy  maintained  a  doctrine  which  the£r  ancestors 
abhorred,  as  may  easily  be  gathered  from  the  writings  of 
that  worthy  divine  Ambrosius  Telesinus,  who  flourished  in 
tlie  year  MO,  when  the  Christian  faith  (which  we  suppose  to 
have  been  delivered  at  the  isle  of  Afalori  by  Joseph  of 
Arimathea)  flowed  in  this  land  in  a  pure  and  uncorrupted 
stream,  before  it  was  infected  and  polluted  by  that  proud 
and  blood-thirsty  monk  Augustine.  Ambrosius  Telesinus 
then  wrote  and  left  behind  him  as  his  own  opinion,  and 
the  opinion  of  those  days,  these  following  verses : — 

Gwae'r  offeiriad  byd 

Nys  angreifftia  gwyd 

Ac  ny  phregetha : 

Gwae  ny  cheidw  ei  gail 

Ac  ef  yn  fugail 

Ac  nys  areilia ; 

Gwae  ni  cheidw  ei  dhefaid 

Rhae  bleidhie  Rhufeniaid 

A'i  ftbn  gnwppa. 

i.  e 


i.  e.  Woe  be  to  the  bishop  who  does  not  rebuke  vice,  and 
give  good  example ;  and  who  does  not  preach.  Woe  be  to 
him,  if  he  does  not  keep  well  his  fold,  and  be  a  shepherd, 
and  does  not  keep  together  and  guard  his  sheep  from 
Romish  wolves  with  his  pastoral  staff. 

From  whence  it  is  apparent,  that  the  Church  of  Rome 
was  then  corrupt,  and  that  the  British  churches  persevered 
in  the  primitive  and  truly  apostolical  profession  of 
Christianity,  as  it  was  at  first  planted  in  the  island  ;  and 
that  no  Roman  innovations  had  crept  in  among  them,  though 
they  afterwards  much  increased,  when  they  were  introduced 
by  Augustine  the  monk. 

This  year  likewise  we  find  the  malicious  and  turbulent 
Maelgon,  choosing  rather  to  persist  in  his  rebellion,  than  to 
return  to  his  allegiance,  and  to  prefer  a  small  lucre  to  the 
love  and  safety  of  his  country  :  for  now  finding  that  the 
castle  of  Aberteifi  was  not  tenable  by  his  own  power  and 
force,  yet  rather  than  deliver  it  up  to  his  brother  Prince 
Gruffydh,  and  thereby  procure  his  favour,  he  chose  to  sell 
it  to  his  bitter  enemies  the  English,  for  an  inconsiderable 
sum  of  money,  whereby  he  opened  them  a  free  passage  into 
Wales ;  this  being  considered  one  of  its'  chief  defences  and 
bulwarks.  About  this  time  Madawc,  son  of  Gruffydh 
May  lor  Lord  of  Bromfield,  built  the  abbey  of  Lanegwest, 
commonly  known  to  the  English  by  the  name  of  Vale 

A.  D.  1201.  In  the  year  1201,  the  valiant  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth 
Prince  of  North  Wales,  banished  out  of  his  territories  his 
cousin  Meredith,  the  son  of  Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh, 
whom  he  suspected  of  treasonable  practices,  and  therefore 
confiscated  his  lands,  which  were  the  Cantrefs  of  Lhyn  and 
Efyoneth.*  About  the  same  time  Meredith,  the  son  of 
Prince  Rhys,  was  slain  at  Carnwilhion  by  treason,  where- 
upon his  elder  brother  Gruffydh  possessed  himself  of  his 
castle  in  Lhanymdhyfri  and  all  his  lands.  This  Gruffydh 
was  a  valiant  and  discreet  prince,  and  one  that  appeared 
likely  to  bring  all  South  Wales  to  good  order  and 
obedience  ;  for  in  all  things  he  trod  in  his  father's  steps, 
and  made  it  his  business  to  succeed  him  as  well  in  his 
Valour  and  virtuous  endowments,  as  in  his  government :  but 
the  vast  hopes  conceived  of  him  soon  proved  abortive ;  for 

A.D.  1202.  in  the  ensuing  year,  on  St.  James's  day,  he  died,  to  the  great 
grief  and  loss  of  his  country,  and  shortly  after  was  buried  at 
Ystratflur  with  great  pomp  and  solemnity.  He  left  behind 


*  The  Cantrevsof  Llun  and  Evionjdd,  situate  in  the  South  West  parts  of  Caernar- 
vonshire.—History  of  fiwcdir  Family,  p.  20. 


him 'as  a  successor  a  son  called  Rhys,  which  Maud,  the 
daughter  of  William  de  Bruce,  had  borne  to  him.  The 
following  year  some  of  the  Welsh  nobility  marched  writh  an 
army  towards  the  castle  of  Gwerthrynion,  which  belonged 
to  Roger  Mortimer,  and  after  a  short  siege,  they  took  it  and 
levelled  it  with  the  ground. 

This  year  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth,  having  considered  his 
estate  and  title,  and  that  all  the  Welsh  princes  were  obliged, 
both  by  the  laws  of  Rocleric  the  Great  and  those  of  Howel 
Dha,  to  acknowledge  the  King  or  Prince  of  North  Wales 
for  their  sovereign  lord,  and  to  do  homage  to  him  for  their 
dominions  :  and  that,  notwithstanding  they  knew  this  to  be 
their  duty,  and  that  they  formerly  had  readily  performed  it ; 
yet,  because  of  late  years  his  predecessors  had  neglected  to 
call  them  to  their  duty,  they  now  began  to  imagine  them- 
selves exempted  from  it,  and  some  thought  themselves 
accountable  to  no  superior  prince,  while  others  denied 
subjection  to  Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  held  their  dominions  of 
the  King  of  England :  therefore,  to  put  a  stop  to  the  further 
growth  of  this  contempt,  and  to  assert  his  own  right,  Prince 
Lhewelyn  commanded  the  attendance  of  all  the  Welsh 
lords,  who  for  the  most  part  appeared  and  swore  allegiance 
to  him  :*  butGwenwynwyn,  Lord  of  Powys,  neither  came  to 
this  meeting,  nor  would  own  the  prince's  supremacy ;  which 
stubbornness  and  disobedience  the  prince  acquainted  his 
nobility  with,  whereupon  they  delivered  their  opinion,  that 
it  was  but  reasonable  that  Gwenwynwyn  should  be  com- 
pelled to  his  duty,  or  forfeit  his  estate :  this  all  the  lords 
consented  to,  excepting  Elis  ap  Madawc,  who  was  an 
intimate  friend  of  Gwenwynwyn,  and  therefore  would  not 
consent  to  the  enacting  any  thing  that  might  be  prejudicial 
to  him,  but  went  away  from  the  meeting  much  dissatisfied 
with  their  proceedings.  Notwithstanding  which,  Prince 
Lhewelyn,  pursuant  to  the  advice  of  the  rest  of  his  nobility, 
raised  an  army  and  marched  towards  Powys  :  but  before  he 
made  any  use  of  his  forces,  he  was,  by  the  mediation  of 
some  learned  and  able  men,  reconciled  to  Gwenwynwyn, 
and  so  Gwenwynwyn  became  his  dutiful  subject,  which  he 
confirmed  both  by  oath  and  in  writing :  and  indeed  it  was 
not  without  good  reason  that  Prince  Lhewelyn  used  all  the 
caution  imaginable  to  bind  this  man,  for  he  had  sworn 
allegiance  before  to  the  King  of  England.  Lhewelyn 
having  thus  subjected  Gwenwynwyn,  he  thought  it  now  a 
proper  time  to  shew  some  marks  of  his  resentment  towards 
his  adherent  Elis  ap  Madawc,  and  therefore  he  stripped  him 

*  British  Ant.  Rev.  by  Vaughan  of  Hcngwrt. 


of  all  his  lands,  whereupon  Elis  fled  the  country,  but  not 
long  after,    yielding  himself  to    the  prince's    mercy,    he 
received  of  him  the  castle  of  Crogen,  and  seven  townships 
besides.*     And  now  having  mentioned  Crogen,  it  will  not 
be  improper  to  step  a  little  out  of  the  way,  and  here  take 
notice  of  the  reason  why  the  P^nglish  formerly,  when  they 
had  a  mind  to  reproach  the  Welsh,  called  them  Crogens.f 
The  first  occasion  of  it  was  this,  King  Henry  the  Second  in 
his    expedition   against   the  Welsh  to   the  mountains    of 
Berwyn,  lay  a  while  at  Oswestry,  during  which  time  he 
detached  a  number  of  his  men  to   try  the  passages  into 
Wales,  who,  as  they  would  have  passed  OfiVs  dyke  at  the 
castle  of  Crogen,  at  which  place  there  was  a  narrow  way 
through  the  same,    which  dyke  appears  now  very  deep 
through  all  that  country,  and  bears  its  old  name ;   these 
men,  I  say,  as  they  would  have  passed  this  strait,  were  met 
by  a  party  of  Welsh,  and  a  great  many  of  them  slain  and 
buried  in  that  ditch,  as  appears  by  their  graves  there  to  be 
seen  ;  and  the  name  of  the  strait  imports  as  much,  being 
called  in  Welsh  Adwifr  bedhau  :%  the  English  therefore, 
bearing  in  mind  this  slaughter,  whenever  they  got  any  of  the 
Welsh  into  their  power,  upbraided  them  with  the  name  of 
Crogen,   intimating  thereby   that  they  should  expect   no 
more  favour  or  mercy  at  their  hands,  than  they  showed  to 
the  English  engaged  in  that  skirmish  :  but  this  word,  which 
at  first  was  rather  a  badge  of  reputation  than  disgrace  to  the 
Welsh,  came  afterwards  to  be  used  in  a  different  sense,  and 
to  be  applied  only  when  it  was  intended  to  reproach  and 
abuse  them.      To  return,  however,   to  Prince  Lhewelyn, 
whom  we  find  returning  home  after  he  had  successfully 
asserted  his  sovereignty  over  all  Wales,  and  set  all  things  in 
good  order ;  and  who  on  his  way  fortified  the  castle  of  Bala 
in  Penlhyn.     About  this  time  Rhys,  the  son  of  Gruffydh  ap 
Rhys,  the  lawful  Prince  of  South  Wales,  took  the  castle  of 
Lhanymdhyfry,  upon  Michaelmas-  Day.     This  year  Lhewe- 
lyn Prince  of  Wales  took  to  wife  Joan,  the  daughter  of 
King  John,  which  Agatha,   daughter  of  Robert  Ferrers 
Earl  of  Derby,  bore  to  him,  and  with  whom  King  John 
gave  the  Prince  for  a  dowry  the  Lordship  of  Ellesmere,  in 
the  marches  of  Wales.g 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  257,  258. 

•f-  It  has  been  erroneously  said,  that  the  term  Crogens  was  used  in  contempt  and 
derision  of  the  Welsh ;  but  that  was  not  the  truth  ;  the  English  meant  to  express  by  it 
animosity,  and  the  desire  of  revenge. — Royal  Tribes. 

J  AdwJ'r  Beddau,  or  the  Pass  of  the  Graves. 

§  History  of  Gwedir  Family,  p.  22.  says  she  was  a  legitimate  daughter.  Fabian,  in 
his  reign  of  John,  says  that  she  was  a  natural  one. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  259. 

Prince  Llywelyn  in  his  youth  had  married  Tangwystl,  daughter  of  Llywarch  Goch, 


This  year  prince  Rhys,  who  in  the  preceding  year  took  A. D.  1203. 
the  castle  of  Lhanymdhyfri,  won  likewise  the  castle  of 
Llangadoc,  and  put  a  garrison  therein,  but  he  enjoyed 
neither  of  them  long;  for  shortly  after,  his  uncle  Maelgon, 
with  his  friend  Gwenwynwyn,  levied  a  powerful  army,  and 
with  it  besieged  and  took  the  castle  of  Lhanymdhyfri; 
thence  they  removed  to  Llangadoc,  and  obtained  that  castle  . 
also,  on  condition  that  the  garrison  should  depart  without 
molestation.  When  they  had  taken  these  two  castles,  they 
went  to  Dinerth,  where  Maelgon  finished  the  castle  he  had 
formerly  begun  there.  This  year  likewise  Prince  Lhewelyn 
set  at  liberty  his  uncle  David  ap  Owen  Gwynedh,  who  made 
but  an  ungrateful  return  to  his  kindness;  for  instead  of 
living  peaceably  at  home,  and  enjoying  that  liberty  that  was 
granted  him,  he  fled  to  England,  and  there  gathered 
together  an  army,  wherewith  he  attempted  to  restore 
himself  to  his  ancient  estate  of  North  Wales;  but  he  failed 
in  his  project,  for  his  prudent  nephew  immediately  met  him 
on  his  march,  and  gave  him  a  complete  overthrow,*  at 
which  David  was  so  much  disheartened,  that  he  returned  to 
England,  and  shortly  after  died  of  grief.f  The  next  year  1204. 
Howel,  a  blind  son  of  Prince  Rhys,  was  slain  at  Cemaes,  by 
some  of  the  followers  of  his  brother  Maelgon,  and  was 
buried  near  his  brother  Gruffydh,  at  Ystratflur:  notwith- 
standing Maelgon  in  those  days  usurped  all  the  rule  of 
South  Wales,  yet  Rhys  and  the  other  sons  of  his  brother 
Gruffydh,  won  from  him  the  chief  defence  of  all  that 
country,  namely,  the  castles  of  Dynefawr  and  Lhanymdhyfri. 
About  this  time  William  Marshal  Earl  of  Pembroke,  1205. 
besieged  the  castle  of  Cilgerran,  and  took  it ;  and  not  long 
afterwards,  Maelgon  hired  an  Irishman  to  kill  Cadifor  ap 
Griffri ;  after  which  horrid  act,  Maelgon  seized  upon  his 
four  sons  and  put  them  to  death ;  these  were  all  promising 
young  gentlemen  and  descended  from  a  noble  stock,  for 
their  mother  Susanna,  was  a  daughter  of  the  above-men- 
tioned Howel  ap  Rhys,  by  a  daughter  of  Madawc  ap 
Meredith  Prince  of  Powys.  In  the  year  1206,  Maelgon  1206. 
built  a  castle  at  Abereneon ;  and  in  the  same  year  there  was 
such  an  abundance  of  fish  seen  at  Aberystwith,  that  the 
like  was  never  before  known  in  the  memory  of  man. 


the  Lord  of  Rhos :  by  whom  he  had  a  son,  very  brave,  called  Gruffydh  ap  Llywelyn. 
He  married  during  his  father's  life  Sina  daughter  of  Caradoc  ap  Thomas  ap  Roderic  ap 
Owen  Gwynedh.— History  of  Gwedir  Family,  p.  24. — British  Ant.  Rev.  by  Vaughan  of 
Hengwrt,  p.  29. 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  259. 

t  History  of  Gwedir  Family,  p.  13,  says  "Some  time  after,  that  unfortunate  prince 
with  his  son  Owen  were  slain  at  Conway." 


A.  D.  1207.  This  year  the  King  of  England  banished  the  realm 
William  de  Bruce  and  his  wife,  on  account  of  an  antipathy 
that  he  had  conceived  against  his  son,  and  then  seized  upon 
all  his  lands  :  whereupon,  William  with  his  wife  and  son 
fled  to  Ireland,  and  there  continued  for  some  time ;  and  the 
hardship  he  now  underwent  was  the  less  pitied,  because  he 
exercised  the  great  power  he  had  possessed  in  the  marches 
of  Wales  with  extreme  cruelty  and  injustice.  The  same 
year  Gwenwynwyn  came  to  Shrewsbury  to  confer  with  the 
king's  counsel,  where  he  was  detained  prisoner:*  where- 
upon Prince  Lhewelyn  invaded  his  country,  and  took  all  his 
towns  and  castles,  and  garrisoned  them  for  his  own  use. 
This  expedition  of  Prince  Lhewelyn  much  alarmed  the 
usurping  Maelgon,  and  the  more  so,  because  he  had  in- 
telligence that  Lhewelyn  was  on  his  march  towards  South 
Wales,  therefore  he  now  put  himself  in  the  best  posture  he 
could  to  receive  him,  but  finding  himself  not  able  to  with- 
stand his  forces,  he  demolished  the  castles  of  Aberystwith, 
Ystratmeyric,  and  Dinerth,  which  he  had  previously 
fortified  ;  notwithstanding  which,  the  Prince  came  to 
Aberystwith,  and  rebuilt  the  castle  and  put  a  garrison 
therein  ;  after  this  he  seized  upon  the  Cantref  of  Penwedic 
and  the  land  betwixt  Dyfi  and  Aeron,  which  he  gave  to 
Maelgon's  nephews,  the  sons  of  Gruflfydh  ap  Rh$rs,  and  then 
returned  home  with  great  joy  and  triumph. f  Not  long 
afterwards,  Rhys  Fychan,  son  to  Prince  Rhys,  besieged  the 
castle  of  Lhangadoc,  and  took  it,  contrary  to  the  promise 
and  league  he  had  made  with  his  nephews,  forgetting  like- 
wise how  freely  and  readily  they  had  assisted  him  in  his 
necessity ;  therefore,  to  be  avenged  of  this  ingratitude  and 
breach  of  promise,  Rhys  and  Owen  no  sooner  heard  of  it, 
than  they  furiously  attacked  the  castle,  and  took  it  by 
assault,  and  put  to  the  sword,  or  took  prisoners  all  the 
garrison,  and  then  burnt  the  castle  to  the  ground. 
1209.  This  year  King  John  levied  a  powerful  army,  with  which 
he  embarked  for  Ireland  ;  but  as  he  was  on  the  borders  of 
Wales  on  his  journey  thitherwards,  there  was  a  criminal 
brought  before  him  who  had  murdered  a  priest ;  the  officer 
desired  to  know  the  king's  pleasure  as  to  the  manner  in 
which  he  would  have  the  delinquent  punished;  but  the 
king,  instead  of  ordering  any  punishment  to  be  inflicted 
upon  him  suitable  to  the  heinousness  of  his  crime,  discharged 
him  with  a  Well  done,  thou  good  servant,  thou  hast  slain 
mine  enemy;  for  such  he  reckoned  the  clergy  of  those  days, 
who  were  very  ill-affected  to  his  usurped,  arbitrary  govern- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  260.  t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  261. 


ment,  and  therefore  he  slightly  regarded  any  injuries  that 
were  done  them ;  for,  on  the  contrary,  he  thought  they  did 
him  good  service  that  did  them  wrong.  He  had  not  been 
long  in  Ireland,  before  he  got  into  his  power  the  unfortunate 
William  de  Bruce  the  younger,  and  his  mother  Mawd  de 
Saint  Valerike,  whom  we  have  mentioned  before  to  have 
quitted  England  for  fear  of  him,  and  to  have  fled  here  for 
shelter.  On  his  return  to  England  he  brought  these  in 
triumph  along  with  him,  and  committed  them  to  Windsor 
castle,  where,  by  his  orders,  they  were  soon  afterwards 
inhumanly  famished. 

According  to  Matthew  Paris,  the  reason  of  King  John's 
displeasure  against  William  de  Bruce  Lord  of  Brecknock 
was  this  : — When  the  Pope  had  excommunicated  the  realm 
of  England,  the  king,  to  prevent  any  inconveniences  that 
might  ensue  thereupon,  took  pledges  of  such  of  his  nobles 
as  he  thought  were  disaffected  to  him,  and  would  be  likely, 
if  occasion  offered,  to  countenance  and  promote  a  rebellion. 
Amongst  others,  he  sent  messengers  to  William  de  Bruce  to 
demand  his  sons  for  pledges,  to  whom  Mawd,  de  Bruce's 
wife,  being  the  readier  speaker,  answered,  (though  what  she 
said  was  no  less  her  husband's  sentiment  than  her  own,)  that 
the  king,  who  had  proved  so  base  a  guardian  to  his  nephew 
Prince  Arthur,  whom  instead  of  setting  in,  he  deprived  of 
his  right,  should  have  none  of  her  children.  This  answer 
the  messengers  delivered  to  the  king,  whereat  he  was  so 
highly  displeased,  that  he  ordered  some  soldiers  should  be 
sent  to  seize  this  lord  ;  but  he  having  timely  intelligence  of 
this  order,  fled  into  Ireland  with  his  wife  and  children, 
where  now  his  wife  Mawd,  with  her  son,  were  unfortunately 
taken  by  King  John,  but  he  himself  escaped,  and  fled  into 
France,  where  he  died  soon  afterwards. 

This  year  the  Earl  of  Chester  rebuilt  the  castle  of  A.  D.  1210. 
Dyganwy,  situate  on  the  sea-shore  and  east  of  the  river 
Conway,  which  Prince  Lhewelyn  had  demolished.  He 
likewise  fortified  the  castle  of  Treffynon  or  St.  Winifred. 
Upon  this  Lhewelyn  entered  into  the  EarPs  land,  which 
when  he  had  ravaged  as  much  as  he  deemed  sufficient,  he 
returned  home  with  considerable  booty.*  About  this  time, 
Rhys  Fychan,  son  to  Prince  Rhys,  fearing  lest  Prince 
Lhewelyn  should  fall  upon  him  for  the  wrong  he  had  done 
to  his  nephews,  whom  he,  Prince  Lhewelyn,  warmly,  de- 
fended in  their  right,  made  an  application  to  the  king  of 
England,  who  readily  granted  him  what  assistance  he 
desired;  and  with  this  aid  he  besieged  the  castle  of  Lhan- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  262. 


ymdhyfri.  The  garrison  for  some  time  made  a  vigorous 
defence ;  but  having  no  hopes  of  any  relief,  they  thought  it 
their  most  prudent  course  to  capitulate,  and  therefore  they 
desired  that  they  might  march  out  with  their  arms  and 
baggage,  and  all  that  belonged  to  them,  which  was  granted 
them.  About  this  time  Gwenwynwyn  was  set  at  liberty, 
whom  the  king  had  hitherto  detained  prisoner,  and  the  king 
also  lent  him  some  forces  to  attempt  the  recovery  of  his 
country,  which  Prince  Lhewelyn  had  seized  upon  during 
his  imprisonment ;  and  though  by  hi»  own  strength  he  was 
not  able  to  cope  with  the  Prince,  yet  by  this  assistance 
granted  him  by  the  king,  he  soon  re-possessed  himself  of 
his  dominions.  This  success  of  Gwenwynwyn  encouraged 
Maelgon  likewise  to  endeavour  the  recovery  of  that  part  of 
his  country  which  the  Prince  had  taken  from  him  in  the 
same  expedition ;  and  he  made  an  application  to  the  king 
of  England,  and  swore  allegiance  to  him.  Hereupon  the 
king  granted  him  a  considerable  army,  as  well  English  as 
Normans ;  to  these  he  joined  what  forces  he  could  raise  in 
Wales;  and  then,  contrary  to  the  oath  and  agreement  he 
had  made  with  his  nephews  Rhys  and  Owen,  he  in  a 
hostile  manner  entered  their  country.  When  he  was  come 
to  Cantred  Penwedic,  he  encamped  at  Cilcenny,  where  he 
staid  some  time  to  take  measures  for  the  better  accomplish- 
ment of  his  designs :  by  this  time  his  nephews  had  got 
together  about  300  chosen  well-disciplined  men,  but  with 
so  small  a  number  they  durst  not  oppose  their  uncle's 
numerous  army  in  open  field;  therefore  they  endeavoured 
to  overthrow  those  by  a  stratagem  which  they  could  not  do 
by  main  force ;  and  herein  they  proved  very  successful,  for 
coming  as  near  their  enemies  as  they  could  without  being 
discovered,  they  sent  out  their  spies  that  night  for  intelli- 
gence, who  brought  back  the  welcome  news  that  all  was 
quiet  in  Maelgon's  camp,  and  that  they  kept  no  strict 
watch,  being  not  aware  of  an  approaching  enemy.  This 
intelligence  much  encouraged  the  brothers  to  prosecute 
their  design,  and  they  marched  as  silently  as  they  could 
towards  their  enemies'  camp,  where  they  met  with  no  oppo- 
sition, being  undiscovered,  because  all  were  fast  asleep. 
When  they  were  advanced  as  they  thought  as  far  as 
Maelgon's  tent,  they  furiously  attacked  and  slew  a  great 
number  of  his  men  before  they  awoke;  the  rest  being 
alarmed  with  the  noise  and  shouts  of  their  enemies,  and 
withal  thinking  their  number  to  be  far  greater  than  it  was, 
were  glad  to  make  use  of  the  darkness  of  the  night  to  quit 
the  field,  excepting  Maelgon's  guard  only,  who  valiantly 



kept  their  post  and  defended  their  lord  till  he  had  time  and 
opportunity  to  escape.  Maelgon's  army  suffered  very  much 
in  this  action ;  his  nephew  Conan  ap  Howel  with  his  chief 
counsellor  Gruffydh  ap  Cadwgan  were  both  taken  prison- 
ers; and  Eineon  ap  Caradoc  with  a  great  number  more 
were  slain  upon  the  spot.  About  the  same  time,  Gilbert 
Earl  of  Gloucester  fortified  the  castle  of  Buelht,  where  a 
little  before  he  had  lost  a  considerable  number  of  his  men, 
in  consequence  of  the  place  not  being  strong  and  tenable. 
Towards  the  conclusion  of  this  year,  Mallt  or  Mawd  de 
Bruce,  the  wife  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  departed  this  life, 
and  was  interred  by  her  husband  in  a  monk's  cowl  in 

The  following  year,  North  Wales  was  threatened  by  a  A.  D.  1211. 
great  storm,  in  consequence  of  the  Marchers  having  made 
frequent  and  grievous  complaints  to  King  John  that  Prince 
Lhewelyn  perpetually  molested  their  country,  slew  their 
men,  and  committed  all  the  waste  and  destiuction  possible 
as  he  passed  along.  The  king,  hearing  of  such  intolerable 
depredations  continually  exercised  by  the  men  of  North 
Wales,  deemed  it  high  time  to  redress  the  wrongs  of  his 
subjects,  and  therefore  he  raised  a  mighty  army  throughout 
England,  and  called  to  him  all  such  lords  and  princes  of 
Wales  as  held  their  lands  under  patents  from  him,  as  Howel 
ap  Gruffydh  ap  Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh,  whom  Prince 
Lhewelyn  had  banished  out  of  North  Wales;  Madoc  ap 
Gruffydh  Maylor,  Lord  of  Bromfield,  Chirk,  and  Yale; 
Meredith  ap  Rotpert,  Lord  of  Cydewen;  Gwenwynwyn, 
Lord  of  Powys;  Maelgon  and  Rhys,  the  sons  of  Prince 
Rhys,  and  governors  of  South  Wales.f  With  this  formida- 
ble army  he  came  to  Chester,  intending  to  enter  North 
Wales  by  that  way,  and  being  fully  resolved  to  execute  the 
severest  vengeance  upon  the  inhabitants,  and  not  to  let  one 
person  remain  alive  throughout  the  whole  country:  but 
resolutions  of  this  nature  are  much  easier  made  than  accom- 
plished; accordingly,  Prince  Lhewelyn  was  no  sooner  in- 
formed of  these  mighty  preparations  against  him,  and  which 
comprehended  the  whole  strength  of  the  English  nation, 
and,  what  was  worst  of  all,  which  was  assisted  by  his  own 
countrymen,  than  he  issued  forth  his  orders,  commanding 
all  his  subjects  of  the  inland  counties  of  Denbigh  and  Flint, 
together  with  those  of  the  island  of  Anglesey,  to  remove  for 
a  time  all  their  cattle  and  other  effects  to  the  mountains  of 
Snowdon,  where  they  were  sure  to  remain  most  secure  from 
their  enemies:  but  King  John  marched  his  army  along  the 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  264.  f  IWd. 


sea-coast  to  Ruthlan,*  and  there  passing  the  river  Clwyd, 
he  came  to  the  castle  of  Deganwy,f  where  he  encamped  for 
some  time  to  refresh  and  recruit  his  army,  which,  by  reason 
of  the  long  marches  they  had  made,  \vas  greatly  fatigued; 
but  what  the  more  augmented  their  misery,  Lhewelyn 
getting  behind  them  cut  off'  all  their  hopes  of  provision 
from  England,  and  the  Welsh,  possessing  the  advantage  of 
being  acquainted  with  the  straits  and  narrow  passages,  cut 
off  all  that  straggled  from  the  English  camp,  so  that  in  time 
they  were  glad  to  take  up  with  horse-flesh,  and  any  thins; 
else  were  it  never  so  mean  which  they  could  by  possibility 
use  as  food.  At  last  King  John,  finding  no  other  remedy, 
and  perceiving  it  impossible  to  continue  longer  there  with- 
out a  supply  of  provisions,  thought  it  his  best  way  to  march 
for  England^  and  leave  the  Welsh  to  themselves,  and  so  he 
decamped  in  a  great  fury,  leaving  Lhewelyn  to  bury  that 
great  number  of  dead  which  had  perished  by  hunger  in  this 
unsuccessful  expedition :  however,  to  recover  the  honour 
he  had  now  lost,  he  was  resolved  to  try  another  encounter 
with  the  Welsh,  but  probably  not  with  the  same  confidence 
of  victory ;  and  therefore  returning  to  W  ales  in  the  next 
August,  having  collected  another  similarly  great  army  of 
English,  and  assisted  by  the  same  Welsh  lords,  he  entered 
at  Blanch  monastery,  now  Oswestry,  being  in  the  lordship 
of  John  the  son  of  William  Fitz-Alan.  In  this  expedition, 
King  John  passing  the  river  Conway,  and  encamping  at  the 
other  side  towards  the  hills  of  Snowdon,  sent  part  of  his 
army  (conducted  by  guides  who  were  acquainted  with  the 
country)  to  bum  Bangor,  which  they  effectually  did;  and 
taking  Robert  bishop  of  that  see  out  of  church,  they  carried 
him  prisoner  to  the  English  camp,  where  he  continued  for 
some  time,  till  he  obtained  his  ransom  for  a  present  of  two 
hundred  hawks :  but  Prince  Lhewelyn  finding  the  whole 
strength  of  England  and  almost  Wales  to  fight  against  him, 
and  judging  it  impossible  with  the  power  he  alone  possessed 
to  withstand  so  great  a  multitude,  thought  it  best  to  en- 
deavour to  find  out  some  method  to  reconcile  himself  to  the 
king:  and  as  he  could  devise  no  better  measure,  he  sent 
Joan  his  wife,  King  John's  daughter,  to  intreat  with  her 
father  about  a  peace,  and  a  cessation  of  hostilities ;  who 
being  a  prudent,  wary  woman,  so  prevailed  upon  the  king 
that  he  granted  to  her  husband  Prince  Lhewelyn  a  safe 
conduct  to  come  to  him,  and  to  renew  the  former  peace  and 


*  Rhuddlan — Red  Banks  ;  which  might  properly  take  its  name  from  the  appear- 
ance of  the  country  j  or  from  the  battle  so  fatal  to  the  Welsh,  which  was  fought  upon" 
Rhuddlan  marsh. 

f  Annales  de  Margan,  p.  15.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  264.  J  Ibid. 


amity  that  was  betwixt  them;  and  so  Lhewelyn  having 
done  homage,  promised  the  king  towards  his  expenses  in 
this  expedition  20,000  head  of  cattle  and  40  horses,  and, 
what  was  more  than  all,  he  surrendered  all  the  inland 
countries  of  Wales,  with  the  appurtenances,  to  him  and  his 
heirs  for  ever.  King  John  having  succeeded  better  in  this 
than  the  former  expedition,  he  returned  to  England  in 
great  triumph,  having  subdued  all  Wales,  excepting  that 
part  which  Rhys  and  Owen,  the  sons  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys, 
still  kept  and  maintained  against  the  English :  but  having 
no  leisure  to  march  against  them  himself,  he,  at  his  depart- 
ure out  of  the  country,  gave  strict  charge  to  Foulke 
Viscount  of  Caerdyff,  warden  of  the  marches,  a  cruel 
tyrant,  though  well  beloved  and  favoured  by  the  king,  to 
take  an  army  with  him,  and  so  joining  with  Maelgon  and 
Rhys  Fychan,  to  compel  the  sons  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys  to 
acknowledge  him  for  their  sovereign  and  to  do  him  homage. 
Foulke  having  received  so  positive  a  command,  immedi- 
ately raised  his  forces,  and  calling  Maelgon  and  Rhys, 
came  to  the  Cantref  of  Penwedic ;  which  when  the  young 
lords  Rhys  and  Owen  heard  of,  and  being  assured  that  this 
blow  was  levelled  against  them,  and  knowing  they  were  not 
able  to  bear  it,  before  any  attack  was  made,  they  sent  to 
Foulke  to  sue  for  peace,  and  for  a  safe  conduct  for  them  to 
pass  to  the  court  of  England.  This  being  granted,  they 
came  to  London  and  made  their  submission  to  the  king, 
and  requesting  his  pardon  for  all  former  misdemeanors, 
they  gave  up  all  pretence  to  their  lands  betwixt  Aeron  and 
Dyfi;  and  so  paying  their  homage,  they  were  dismissed 
very  graciously.  Foulke,  however,  before  his  departure 
out  of  the  country,  fortified  the  castle  of  Aberystwith,  and 
placing  a  strong  garrison  therein,  kept  it  for  the  king's  use : 
but  Maelgon  and  Rhys  Fychan,  being  headstrong,  incon- 
stant persons,  soon  repented  them  of  the  peace  they  had 
made  with  the  king  of  England;  and  thereupon,  without 
the  least  reason  or  provocation,  they  laid  siege  to  Aber- 
ystwith castle,  and  haying  with  much  difficulty  made  them- 
selves masters  of  it,  they  destroyed  the  fortification  which 
Foulke  had  lately  erected  and  rased  the  castle  to  the  ground. 
However,  they  paid  dear  for  this  in  another  way;  for  as 
soon  as  Rhys  and  Owen  had  heard  that  their  uncles  had 
broken  the  king's  peace,  they  made  inroads  into  Isareon, 
which  was  Maelgon's  country,  and  having  slain  a  consider- 
able number  of  his  men,  among  whom  was  one  of  peculiar 



bravery  and  strength,  a  youth  called  Bachglas,  they  returned 
with  a  rich  booty. 

Maelgon  and  Rhys  Fychan  were  quickly  followed  by  the 
men  of  North  Wales  in  their  revolt  from  the  king  of 
England;  for  Prince  Lhewelyn  not  being  able  to  endure 
any  longer  the  tyranny  and  oppression  which  the  king's 
garrisons  exercised  in  his  country,  called  together  Gwen- 
wynwyn  from  Powys,  Maelgon  ap  Rhys  from  South  Wales, 
Madoc  ap  Gruftydh  May  lor  from  Bromfield,  and  Meredith 
ap  Rotpert  from  Cydewen,  and  plainly  declared  before 
them  the  pride  and  tyranny  of  the  English,  and  observed 
that  they  who  were  always  used  to  have  a  prince  of  their 
own  nation,  were  now  by  their  own  wilfulness  and  neglect 
become  subject  to  strangers :  however,  it  was  not  too  late  to 
recover  their  ancient  liberty,  and  if  they  did  but  unani- 
mously agree  among  themselves,  they  might  easily  cast  oft' 
that  yoke  which  was  so  intolerably  burdensome  to  them. 
Then  the  lords  being  sensible  of  the  truth  and  justice  of 
what  Prince  Lhewelyn  had  said,  and  being  conscious  that 
their  present  slavish  subjection  to  the  English  was  wholly 
owing  to  their  own  cowardice,  swore  fealty  to  Prince  Lhe- 
welyn, and  also  swore  to  be  true  and  faithful  to  him,  and  to 
stand  by  each  other  to  the  utmost  of  their  lives  and  fortunes. 
Therefore,  joining  their  forces  together,  they  took  all  the 
castles  in  North  Wales  which  were  in  the  hands  of  the 
English,  excepting  Rhuddlan,  and  Piganwy ;  and  then 
going  to  Powys,  they  laid  siege  to  the  castle  which  Robert 
Vipont  had  built  at  Mathrafal.  King  John  being  in- 
formed that  the  Welsh  had  conspired  against  him,  and  that 
they  had  taken  and  seized  upon  almost  all  his  castles  in 
North  Wales,  and  that  they  were  now  actually  besieging 
Mathrafal,  presently  assembled  his  army,  and  coming  to 
Mathrafal,  immediately  raised  the  siege,  and  to  prevent  the 
Welsh  from  coming  any  more  against  it,  he  burnt  it  to  the 
ground,  and  so  returned  to  England,  having  no  time  to  stay 
any  longer  in  Wales,  in  consequence  of  the  differences  that 
happened  betwixt  him  and  his  nobility :  but  being  after- 
wards at  Nottingham,  and  hearing  that  Prince  Lhewelyn 
cruelly  harassed  and  destroyed  the  marches,  he  caused  all 
the  Welsh  pledges  which  he  had  received  the  last  year  to 
be  hanged,  among  whom  wereHowel  the  son  of  Cadwalhon, 
and  Madoc  the  son  of  Maelgon,  with  many  others  of  the 
sons  of  Welsh  noblemen,  to  the  number  of  twenty-eight. 
About. the  same  time,  Robert  Vipont  caused  Rhys  the  son 
of  Maelgon  to  be  hanged  at  Shrewsbury,  being  a  youth  of 
about  seventeen  years  of  age,  and  so  cruelly  murdered  the 



innocent  child  in  revenge  for  the  crimes  and  offences  com- 
mitted by  his  father  and  others,* 

Though  King  John  was  so  severe  to  the  Welsh,  yet  the 
Princess  of  North  Walesf  was  more  dutiful  and  favourable 
to  him ;  for  whilst  he  staid  at  Nottingham,  she  sent  him  an 
express,  declaring  that  the  barons  had  entered  into  a  con- 
spiracy with  the  French  king  against  him,  and  that  the 
latter  was  preparing  and  raising  an  army  to  come  over  to 
England,  upon  pretence  that  the  king  was  a  rebel  and  bid 
open  defiance  to  the  Holy  Church,  inasmuch  as  he  would 
not  yield  to  the  Bishop  of  Rome's  request.  In  confirmation 
of  this,  she  told  him  that  Robert  Fitzwalter,  Eustace  de 
Vescy,  and  Stephen  Redell  were  secretly  fled  into  France, 
to  promote  and  carry  on  this  intrigue.  In  proof  that  this 
design  against  King  John  was  no  feigned  surmise,  the  next  A.  D.  1212. 
year  Pope  Innocent  the  Third  detached  one  of  his  nuncios 
to  Wales,  who  absolved  Prince  Lhewelyn,  Gwenwynwyn, 
and  Maelgon  from  their  oaths  of  allegiance  to  King  John, 
and  withal  gave  them  a  strict  command,  under  the  penalty 
of  excommunication,  to  molest  and  annoy  him  with  all  their 
endeavours,  as  an  open  enemy  to  the  church  of  God.J 
Prince  Lhewelyn  was  far  from  being  dissatisfied  with  this, 
for  now  he  had  gained  the  most  fitting  opportunity  ima- 
ginable to  recover  such  lands  as  he  had  formerly  much 
against  his  will  delivered  up  to  the  king,  being  in  the  inland 
country  of  Denbigh  and  Flint,  and  of  which  Lhewelyn  at 
this  time  repossessed  himself:  and  it  was  fortunate  that  he 
was  so  active  in  doing  this ;  for  within  a  little  while  after, 
King  John,  by  the  persuasions  of  Pandulph,  the  Pope's 
legate,  granted  his  Holiness  all  his  request,  and  so  obtained 
absolution  at  Pandulph's  hands,  and,  upon  performance  of 
his  promises,  an  assurance  of  a  release  from  that  Ecclesi- 
astical Bull  which  had  so  formidably  roared  against  him. 

South  Wales  had  now  been  quiet  for  a  considerable  time,  1213. 
and  they  that  used  to  be  commonly  very  turbulent  and 
contentious,  were  now  tolerably  easy  and  amicable :  but  it 
was  impossible  that  such  a  peaceable  course  of  life  should 
hold  long,  where  injustice  and  oppression  had  so  much 
sway,  and  where  people  were  wrongfully  kept  out  of  their 

p. 2 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  267.— These  innocent  victims  delivered  up  to  John  at  the  late 
peace  were  all  of  them  very  young,  and  allied  to  the  most  distinguished  families  in  Wtues. 
— Annales  de  Margan,  p.  15.  Holinshead,  p.  176.  Welsh  Chron.  276. 

f  He  received  two  letters,  one  of  which  was  from  the  king  of  Scotland,  and  the  other 
was  from  his  daughter,  the  wife  of  Prince  Lhewelyn.— Welsh  Chroc.  p.  267. 

|  Matthew  Paris,  p.  194.  Brady's  History  of  England,  p.  482.  Annales  Waverleiensis  $ 
p.  173.  Thomas  Wykes,  p.  37.  Holinshead,  p.  176. 


just  and  rightful  inheritance;  and  this  was  the  occasion  of 
the  breach  of  that  quietness  which  for  the  two  or  three 
years  last  past  they  had  so  satisfactorily  enjoyed :  for  Rhys 
the  son  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  who  was  right  heir  to  Prince 
Rhys,  finding  he  could  have  no  share  of  his  father's  estate, 
but  that  his  uncles  forcibly  kept  all  from  him,  thought  it 
best  to  make  his  case  known  to  the  king  of  England,  and  to 
desire  a  remedy  and  redress  from  him.  King  John,  in 
compassion  for  the  young  man's  hard  condition,  sent  to  his 
deputy,  Foulke  Viscount  of  Caerdyff,  warden  of  the  marches, 
and  to  the  Steward  of  Hereford,  commanding  them  to  take 
away  all  Ystratywy  from  Rhys  Fychan,  by  some  called  Rhys 
Gryg,*  unless  he  would  permit  his  nephews  to  enjoy  Lhan- 
ymdhyfry  castle,  with  all  the  lands  and  privileges  thereunto 
belonging.  Foulke  having  received  such  orders 'from  his 
master  the  king  of  England,  sent  to  acquaint  Rhys  of  the 
proposals,  and  to  demand  of  him  whether  or  not  he  would 
deliver  up  Lhanymdhyfry  to  his  nephews,  according  to  the 
king's  command;  who  returned  answer,  that  he  did  not 
know  of  any  such  obligation  due  from  him  to  the  king  of 
England  as  to  part  with  his  lands  at  his  command,  and 
therefore  assured  him  peremptorily,  and  in  plain  terms,  that 
he  would  not  willingly  part  with  one  foot  of  what  he  was 
then  in  possession  of.  Foulke,  therefore,  having  received 
this  resolute  answer,  was  likewise  as  determined  to  get  that 
by  force  which  he  could  not  obtain  by  fair  means ;  and  so 
having  raised  a  great  army,  he  marched  to  Talhwynelgain 
to  meet  young  Rhys,  who  was  to  come  thither  with  all  the 
forces  he  could  raise  in  Brecknock ;  and  from  thence  they 
marched  in  three  divisions  towards  Dynefawr,  the  first 
being  commanded  by  young  Rhys,  the  second  by  Foulke, 
and  Owen,  brother  to  Rhys,  led  the  third.  Rhys  Fychan 
was  not  in  the  least  dismayed  at  their  number,  but  thinking 
it  more  advisable  to  meet  them  in  the  field  than  to  suffer 
them  to  block  him  up  at  Dynefawr,  came  out  very  boldly 
and  gave  them  battle ;  when,  after  a  warm  engagement  on 
both  sides,  Rhys  Fychan  was  defeated,  and  after  losing  a 
great  number  of  his  men,  he  was  glad  to  make  his  escape  by 
flight:  wherefore,  retiring  to  Dynefawr,  he  doubled  the 
garrison  of  that  place,  but  thinking  the  town  of  Lhandeilo- 
fawr  not  tenable,  he  burnt  it  to  the  ground,  and  then  hid 
himself  in  the  woods  and  other  retired  places :  however, 
young  Rhys  and  Foulke  laid  siege  to  Dynefawr,  and  in  the 
first  assault  attacked  it  so  fiercely,  that  they  forced  the 
garrison  to  retire  to  the  castle,  which  for  some  time  they 


*  Rough  Rhys. 


defended  very  manfully :  the  besiegers,  however,  b3gan  to 
play  so  violently  with  their  battering  engines,  and  to  under- 
mine the  wall  in  such  a  manner,  that  the  governor  after  a 
short  defence  offered  to  capitulate,  giving  three  pledges  for' 
security,  that  if  they  received  no  relief  by  the  morrow  at 
noon  the  castle  should  be  surrendered,  upon  condition  that 
the  garrison  should  march  out  with  all  the  tokens  of  honour, 
and  carry  their  arms  and  all  other  implements  of  war  along 
with  them.  No  relief  being  arrived,  the  castle  the  next 
day  was  accordingly  surrendered,  and  all  the  articles  of  the 
capitulation  observed;  and  thus  young  Rhys  being  pos- 
sessed of  Dynefawr,  in  a  little  time  afterwards  brought  all 
Cantreffawr  to  his  subjection.  When  Rhys  Fychan  was 
aware  that  the  stream  of  affairs  was  running  violently  against 
him,  he  thought  it  his  wisest  way  to  remove  his  wife  and 
children,  and  all  his  other  effects,  to  his  brother  Maelgon's 
country,  and  so  leaving  Lhanymdhyfry  castle  well  manned 
and  fortified,  he  departed  towards  Aberystwith.  As  soon, 
however,  as  Foulke  was  returned  to  the  marches,  young 
Rhys  came  with  an  army,  consisting  of  Welsh  and  Normans, 
before  Lhanymdhyfry,  intending  to  besiege  that  place;  but 
before  they  were  encamped  in  front  of  the  town,  the  governor 
thought  it  his  best  way  to  surrender,  upon  condition  that 
the  garrison  should  depart  with  their  lives.  Shortly  after- 
wards, Rhys  Fychan  was  taken  at  Caermardhyn  and  com- 
mitted to  the  king's  prison,  and  so  all  the  disturbances  and 
troubles  of  South  Wales  came  to  a  peaceable  issue.  But  in 
North  Wales  it  was  not  so;  for  Prince  Lhewelyn,  being 
desirous  to  rid  his  country  from  the  insupportable  tyranny 
and  oppression  of  the  English  garrisons,  laid  siege  to  the 
castles  of  Diganwy  and  Ruddlan,  the  only  places  then 
remaining  in  the  hands  of  the  English,  which  he  took  with- 
out any  great  opposition,  and  thus  freed  his  country  from 
any  title  or  pretence  the  king  of  England  might  claim  in 
North  Wales.*  King  John  indeed  was  engaged  another 
way,  and  consequently  in  no  good  condition  to  help  him- 
self; for  having  expressed  his  regret  on  account  of  the 
indignities  and  obstinacy  he  had  offered  towards  Pope 
Innocent,  at  this  time  he  did  penance  before  the  Archbishop 
of  Canterbury,  to  atone  for  all  the  severities  he  had  prac- 
tised against  the  church;  and  to  restore  himself  the  more 
to  his  Holiness's  favour,  he  made  the  kingdom  of  England 
tributary  to  the  church  of  Rome,  to  be  holden  of  the  Pope, 
by  payment  of  the  sum  of  1000  marks  yearly  for  ever;  and 
withal  recalled  and  restored  to  their  former  preferments  and 

*  Annales  Waverleiensis,  p.  174.     Welsh  Chron.  p.  270. 


places  all  such  as  had  been  banished,  or  had  voluntarily 
fled  the  kingdom,  on  account  of  their  strict  adherence  and 
submission  to  the  Pope  of  Rome. 

A.  D.  1214.  Nor  was  this  all ;  for  the  next  year  King  John,  with  two 
of  his  nobility,  the  Earls  of  Chester  and  Derby,  were 
resolved  upon  a  voyage  to  the  Holy  Land,  but  were  pre- 
vented taking  the  journey  by  the  rebellion  of  the  barons, 
which  now  broke  forth  violently,  because  the  king  would 
not  grant  to  them  those  ancient  laws  and  privileges  that 
their  forefathers  had  always  enjoyed.  Therefore  the  barons 
entered  into  a  confederacy  with  Prince  Lhewelyn  of  North 
Wales,  desiring  him  to  make  what  diversion  he  could  on  his 
part,  while  they  were  resolved  to  do  the  same  on  theirs ; 
and  having  raised  an  army,  they  appointed  Robert  Fitz- 
walter  their  general.  Coming  to  Bedford,  they  were 
honourably  received  into  the  castle  by  William  Beauchamp, 
and  from  thence  marching  to  London,  they  were  entertained 
with  all  the  expressions  of  joy.  King  John  perceiving  how 
powerful  they  were  likely  to  prove,  and  that  the  country  did 
in  a  great  measure  favour  their  cause,  thought  it  his  wisest 
way  to  nip  them  in  the  bud,  and  to  fall  upon  them  before 
they  grew  too  strong ;  and,  therefore,  having  levied  his 
forces,  he  marched,  together  with  William  Marshal  Earl  of 
Pembroke,  towards  the  castle  of  Rochester :  being  arrived 
there,  he  laid  close  siege  to  the  castle,  but  the  governor, 
William  de  Albineto,  so  bravely  defended  it,  that  it  could 
scarcely  be  taken  after  three  months'  siege ;  at  length,  how- 
ever, the  king's  men  attacked  it  so  violently,  that  they  took 
it  by  storm,  where,  besides  William  de  Albineto,  the  king 
took  several  of  the  barons  prisoners.  This  was  a  disastrous 
beginning  to  the  design  of  the  confederates,  and  what  did 
not  add  a  little  to  their  misfortune,  the  Pope  immediately 
1215.  issued  out  a  Bull  of  Excommunication  against  Lhewelyn 
Prince  of  Wales,  and  all  the  English  barons  that  made  war 
against  King  John,  who  was  under  the  protection  of  the 
Church  of  Rome;*  but  Prince  Lhewelyn  did  not  regard  his 
threatening  anathemas,  and  therefore  having  raised  an  army, 
he  came  to  Shrewsbury,  which  was  delivered  up  to  him 
without  any  resistance.  Whilst  Lhewelyn  remained  there, 
Giles  de  Bruce,  Bishop  of  Hereford,  one  of  the  chief  of 
this  conspiracy,  sent  his  brother  Reynold  to  Brecknock, 
whom  all  the  people  readily  owned  for  their  lord ;  therefore 
'  without  the  least  grumbling  or  opposition  he  received  the 
castles  of  Abergavenny  and  Pencelhy,  the  Castelh  Gwyn 
(or  the  White  Castle),  together  with  Grosmont  castle  and 

*  Annales  Waverleiensis,  p.  182.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  271. 


the  island  of  Cynvric :  and  when  the  bishop  came  thither  in 
person,  lie  had  the  castles  of  Aberhondhy,  Hay,  Buelht, 
and  Blaenlhyfny  also  delivered  up  to  him;  but  thinking  he 
had  enough  himself,  and  being  rather  desirous  to  secure  his 
interest,  and  to  strengthen  his  party  in  the  country,  than  to 
heap  more  upon  his  own  shoulders  than  he  was  well  able  to 
support,  he  bestowed  Payne  castle,  Chine,  and  all  Elvel, 
upon  Walter  Fychan,  the  son  of  Eineon  Clyd. 

In  the  mean  time  young  Rhys,  the  son  of  Gruffydh  ap 
Rhys,  and  his  uncle  Maelgon,  were  reconciled  and  made 
friends,  and  so  coming  both  to  Dyfed,  they  destroyed 
Arberth  and  Maenclochoc  castles,  and  recovered  all  such 
lands  as  formerly  belonged  to  them^  excepting  Cemaes :  but 
Rhys's  brothers  Maelgon  and  Owen^  went  to  North  Wales 
and  did  homage  and  fealty  to  Prince  Lhewelyn,  whilst  their 
brother  Prince  Rhys  marched  forward  to  Cydwely,  and 
having  rased  the  castles  of  Carnwylheon  and  Lhychwr, 
brought  all  the  country  thereabout  under  his  subjection. 
This,  however,  did  not  satisfy  the  ambition  of  that  young 
prince;  for  having  once  tasted  the  pleasures  of  victory, 
and  the  satisfaction  of  taking  and  demolishing  towns,  he  was 
resolved  to  prosecute  his  conquest  whilst  Fortune  seemed  to 
favour  his  undertakings ;  and,  therefore,  he  led  his  army 
against  Talybont  castle,  which  belonged  to  Hugh  de  Miles, 
and  forcing  his  entrance  into  the  same,-  he  put  a  great  num- 
ber of  the  garrison  to  the  sword.  The  next  day  he  marched 
to  Sengennyth  castle,  but  the  garrison  which  kept  it,  think- 
ing it  fruitless  to  attempt  to  oppose  him,  burnt  the  place 
and  departed  to  Ystymlhwynarth  :  but  he  followed  them 
closely,  and  the  next  day  took  that  place  and  rased  it  to  the 
ground,  and  wasted  the  country  in  such  a  violent  manner, 
that  in  three  days  time  he  became  master  of  all  the  castles 
and  fortresses  in  all  Gowerland  and  Morgannwc,  and  then 
returned  home  with  great  victory  and  triumph.  At  the 
same  time  Rhys  Fychan,  otherwise  Rhys  Gryg,  the  uncle  of 
young  Prince  Rhys,  obtained  his  liberty  from  the  King  of 
England,  leaving  his  son  with  two  others  as  pledges  for  his 
moderate  and  peaceable  behaviour  towards  his  subjects, 
whom  at  other  times  he  had  molested  and  oppressed. 
About  this  time  the  abbots  of  Tal  y  Llecheu  and  Ty  Gwyn, 
were  consecrated  bishops,  the  former  of  St.  David's,  and 
the  other  of  Bangor:  and  the  Bishop  of  Hereford,  who 
seemed  to  be  the  most  violently  inclined  against  King 
John,  and  was  otherwise  unwilling  to  part  with  what  he  had 
got  in  Wales,  could  not  refuse  the  injunction  of  the  Pope, 
by  whose  express  command  he  was  constrained  to  make 



peace  with  the  king,  which  being  concluded,  in  his  return 
homeward,  he  died  at  Gloucester,  leaving  his  estate  to  his 
brother  Reginald,  who  had  married  the  daughter  of  Prince 

Notwithstanding  Giles  de  Bruce,  Bishop  of  Hereford, 

had  relinquished  the  confederacy,  and  become  reconciled  to 

King  John,   yet  Prince   Lhewelyn  would  not  follow  his 

example,  and,  therefore,  with  his  whole  army  he  marched 

against  Caermardhyn,   and  took  the  castle  in  five  days  ; 

having  rased  it  the  ground,  he  successively  laid  siege  to  the 

castles  of  Lhanstephan,  St.  Cleare,  and  Talacharn,  which 

he  used  after  the  same  manner.     From  thence  he  went  to 

Cardigan,  and  taking  Emlyn  castle,  he  subdued  Cemaes, 

and  then  laying  siege  to  Trefdraeth  castle,  in  English  called 

Newport,  he  soon  took  it,  and  afterwards  rased  it  to  the 

ground.      His  next  design  was  upon  Aberteifi  and   Cil- 

gerran  castles,  but  the  garrisons  which  defended  them, 

finding  it  would  be  of  no  avail  to  wait  his  coming,  and  to 

endeavour  to  withstand  his  attempts  against  those  places, 

voluntarily  surrendered,  and  by  that  means  prevented  all  the 

evils,  which  in  opposing  him,  would  in  all  probability  have 

unavoidably  come  upon  them.     Prince  Lhewelyn  having 

thus  successfully  over-run  and  subdued  all  Caermardhyn  and 

Cardigan,  triumphantly  returned  to  North  Wales,  being 

attended  by  several  of  the  Welsh  nobility,  such  as  Howel  ap 

Gruffydh  ap  Conan,  Lhewelyn  ap  Meredith,  Gwenwynwyn 

Lord  of  Powys,  Meredith  ap  Rotpert,  Maelgon  and  Rhy s 

Fychan  the  sons  of  Prince  Rhys  of  South  Wales,  Rhys  and 

Owen  the  sons  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  together  with  all  the 

power  of  Madoc  ap  Gruffydh  Maylor  Lord  of  Bromfield.f 

A.  D.  1216.      The  next  year  Prince  Lhewelyn  returned  to  Aberteifi  to 

compose  a    difference,    which    since    his    departure    had 

happened  betwixt   Maelgon  and  Rhys  Fychan,    sons    of 

Prince  Rhys,  on  the  one  side,  and  Rhys  and  Owen,  sons  of 

Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  on  the  other.     To  make  up  this  quarrel, 

and  to  bring  all  matters  to  a  quiet  and  amicable  issue, 

Prince   Lhewelyn  made  an   equal   distribution   of    South 

Wales  betwixt  them,  alloting  to  Maelgon  three  Cantrefs  in 

Dyfed,  viz.  Gwarthaf,  Penlhwynoc,  Cemaes,  and  Emlyn, 

with   Cilgerran  castle ;    to    young   Rhys,    two  castles  in 

Ystratywy,  Hirvryn  and  Maelhaen,  Maenor  Bydfey,  with 

the  castle  of  Lhanymdhyfry,  and  two  in  Cardigan,  Gwyn- 

ionyth  and  Mahwyneon.      His  brother  Owen  had  to  his 

share  the  castles  of  Aberteifi  and  Nant  yr  Arian,  with  three 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  273. 
t  Welsh  Chrop.  p.  273.     Hist.  Gwedir  Family,  p.  26. 


Cantrefs  in  Cardigan ;  and  Rhys  Fychan,  otherwise  called 
Rhys  Gryc,  had  Dynefawr  castle,  the  Cantref  Mawr,  the 
Cantref  By  chan,  excepting  Hirvryn  and  Midhfey,  together 
with  the  Comotes  of   Cydwely  and  Carnwylhion.      This 
division  being  accomplished  to  every  one's  satisfaction,  and 
all  the  lords  of  South  Wales  being  amicably  reconciled. 
Prince  Lhewelyn  took  his  journey  for  North  Wales  ;  but  he 
had  not  advanced  far,  when  intelligence  was  brought  him 
that  Gwenwynwyn  Lord  of  Powys  had  revolted,  and  was 
become  again  the  King  of  England's  subject.     This  un- 
welcome news  struck  very   deep   in   the    prince's    mind, 
because    Gwenwynwyn  was   a  man  of  great    power    and 
strength  in  the  country,  and  of  great  service  to  repel  the 
incursions  of  the  English  upon  the  marches,  which  now, 
h(i  having  gone  over  to  the  English  interest,  could  not,  as 
Lhewelyn  feared,  be  so  well  effected.     However,  to  make 
the  best  of  a  bad  matter,  he  endeavoured  to  withdraw  him 
from  the  English,  and  to  restore  him  to  his  former  allegiance 
due  to  himself  as  his  natural  prince ;  and  to  that  end,  he 
sent  to  him  some  bishops  and  abbots  to  put  him  in  mind 
of  the  oath  and  promise  he  had  entered  into,  and  that  he, 
with  the  rest  of  the  lords  of  Wales,  had  bound  himself  to 
oppose  the  English  to  the  utmost  of  his  power,  and  had 
delivered  pledges  for  the  sure  performance  of  what  he  had 
then  by  oath  engaged  in;   and  lest  he  should  have  forgotten 
what  he  had  then  promised,  he  was  desired  to  read  his  own 
hand-writing,  whereby  it  was  apparent  that  he  had  very 
unjustly  violated  both  his  oath  and  promise :  but  all  the 
rhetoric  the  bishops  could  make  use  of,  was  not  of  force 
sufficient  to  induce  Gwenwynwyn  to  become  reconciled  to 
the  Prince  and  to  oppose  the  King  of  England;    and, 
therefore,  seeing  nothing  else  would  do,  Prince  Lhewelyn 
resolved  to  make  him  incapable  of  serving  the  English,  and 
entering  Powys  with  a  strong  army,  he  subdued  the  whole 
country  to  himself,  Gwenwynwyn  being  forced  to  fly  for 
succour  to  the  Earl  of  Chester.* 

Whilst  these  things  passed  in  Wales,  Lewis,  the  Dauphin 
of  France,  being  invited  by  the  English  barons  against 
King  John,  landed  in  the  island  of  Thanet,  and  marching 
forward  to  London,  he  there  received  homage  of  all  the 
barons  that  were  in  actual  war  against  the  king.  Then 
going  forward  towards  Winchester,  where  King  John  lay, 
he  took  in  his  way  the  castles  of  Rygate,  Guildford,  and 
Farnham,'  and  coming  to  Winchester,  had  the  town  im- 
mediately surrendered  to  him.  King  John  did  not  think  it 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  274. 


advisable  to  abide  his  coming,  but  removing  to  Hereford, 
in  the  marches  of  Wales,  he  sent  to  Prince  Lhewelyn  and 
Reynald  de  Bruce,  desiring  their  friendship,  and  imploring 
their  aid  and  assistance  against  the  French  ;  and  Ilicy 
refusing  to  hearken  to  his  proposals,  he  destroyed  Radnor 
and  Hay  castles,  and  marching  forward  to  Oswestry,*  which 
belonged  to  John  Fitzalan,  he  burnt  it  to  the  ground,  and 
then  departed  towards  the  North  :  but  after  he  had  settled 
his  affairs  there,  and  appointed  governors  in  all  the  towns 
and  places  of  strength,  whilst  he  was  making  all  necessary 
preparations  at  Newark  to  confront  the  barons,  he  fell  sick, 
and  in  a  short  time  died,  and  was  buried  at  Worcester. 

After  his  death  his  son  Henry  was  by  several  of  the 
English  nobility  proclaimed  king,  and  in  a  little  while, 
most  of  the  barons,  who  on  account  of  their  hatred  to  King 
John,  had  maintained  an  open  war  against  that  monarch, 
came  in  and  owned  their  allegiance  to  his  son  Henry, 
though  contrary  to  their  oath  to  Lewis  the  Dauphin :  but 
A.  D.1217.  what  was  most  disastrous  to  the  Welsh,  Reynald  de  Bruce, 
who  had  all  this  while  maintained  a  confederacy  with  Prince 
Lhewelyn,  his  father-in-law,  against  King  John,  secretly 
made  his  peace  with  King  Henry.  He  suffered  severely, 
however,  for  his  treachery;  for  young  Rhys,  and  Owen  his 
nephew  by  his  sister,  seeing  that  he  in  whom  they  put  their 
greatest  confidence,  had  deceitfully  forsaken  them,  came 
upon  him  with  all  their  power,  and  took  from  him  all 
Buelht,  excepting  only  the  castle.  Prince  Lhewelyn  was 
immediately  made  acquainted  with  Bmce's  revolt,  and  as 
soon  as  he  was  informed  that  his  son-in-law  was  gone  over 
to  the  King  of  England,  he  went  in  great  fury  to  Breck- 
nockshire, and  laying  siege  to  Aberhondhu,  its  principal 
town,  he  was  with  much  persuasion  prevailed  upon  by 
young  Rhys  to  raise  the  siege  for  the  sum  of  a  hundred 
marks,  and  at  the  same  time  receiving  five  hostages ;  and 
then  crossing  the  mountainous  part  of  Glamorgan,  called 
the  Black  Mountains,  where  his  carriages  suffered  very 
much,  he  came  to  Gwyr,  and  encamping  at  Lhangruc, 
Reynald  de  Bruce  with  six  knights  in  his  company,  came  to 
meet  him,  desiring  his  pardon  for  his  past  offence,  as- 
suring him  that  in  future  he  would  be  true  and  faithful  to 
him,  and  would  do  his  utmost  to  assist  him  against  the  King 
of  England.  Prince  Lhewelyn  accepted  his  submission, 
and  not  only  received  him  again  to  his  favour,  but  bestowed 
upon  him  the  castle  of  Senghennyth,  which  Reynald  after- 
wards committed  to  the  custody  of  Rhys  Fychan. 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  275. 


Prince  Lhewelyn  having  put  all  things  in  order  in  Gwyr, 
marched  to  Dyfed,  and  being  at  Cefn  Cynwarchan,  the 
Flemings  sent  their  agents  to  him  to  desire  peace,  which 
the  prince,  because  they  always  adhered  to  the  English 
interest,  would  not  grant  them.  Young  Rhys  was  the  first 
man  to  pass  the  river  Cledheu  to  storm  the  town;  but 
lorwerth  bishop  of  St.  David's,  with  the  rest  of  his  clergy, 
came  to  the  prince  to  intreat  for  a  peace  for  the  Flemings, 
which,  after  a  long  discussion,  was  granted  upon  these 
terms:  first,  That  all  the  inhabitants  of  Rhos,  and  the 
country  of  Pembroke,  should  from  thence  forward  swear 
allegiance  to  Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  ever  after  acknowledge 
his  sovereignty ;  secondly,  That  towards  the  defraying  of 
his  charges  in  this  expedition,  they  should  pay  one  thousand 
marks,  to  be  delivered  to  him  before  the  ensuing  feast  of  St. 
Michael ;  thirdly,  That  for  the  sure  performance  of  these 
articles  they  should  deliver  up  twenty  hostages,  who  were 
to  be  some  of  the  principal  persons  in  their  country.*  Then 
Prince  Lhewelyn  having  brought  all  Wales  into  subjection 
to  himself,  and  put  matters  in  a  settled  posture  in  South 
Wales,  returned  to  North  Wales,  having  gained  consider- 
able honour  and  esteem  for  his  martial  achievements  in  this 

All  matters  of  difference  being  now  adjusted,  and  the 
Welsh  in  good  hopes  of  a  durable  freedom  from  all  troubles 
and  hostilities,  another  accident  unhappily  occurred  to  cross 
their  expectation.  Lewis  the  Dauphin,  perceiving  the  English 
barons  slighted  and  forsook  him,  concluded  a  peace  with 
King  Henry,  and  returned  to  France  •  and  the  king  having 
made  a  promise  to  the  barons  that,  he  would  grant  all  their 
requests,  and  redress  their  grievances,  they  made  their  sub- 
mission, without  including  the  Welsh  in  their  articles. 
They  had  until  this  time  gladly  embraced  the  friendship 
and  aid  of  the  Prince  of  Wales ;  but  now,  upon  their  recon- 
ciliation with  the  king,  thinking  they  had  no  farther  need  of 
him,  they  basely  forsook  him  who  had  been  the  principal 
support  and  succour  of  their  cause :  and  not  only  so,  but 
they  conspired  together  to  carry  their  arms  against  Wales, 
thinking  they  could,  without  any  breach  of  equity  or  con- 
science, take  away  the  lands  of  the  Welsh,  to  make  addition 
to  what  some  of  them  had  already  unjustly  possessed  them- 
selves of.  William  Marshal  Earl  of  Pembroke  commenced 
the  work,  and  coming  unexpectedly  upon  the  Welsh,  took 
the  town  of  Caerlheon  ;f  but  he  gained  nothing  by  this,  for 
Rhys  Fychan  perceiving  what  was  his  intention,  destroyed 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  278.  f  Ibid. 


Senghennyth  castle,  and  all  the  other  places  under  his  con- 
troul  in  that  country,  and  banishing  the  English  with  their 
wives  and  children,  divided  the  country  betwixt  the  Welsh, 
who  kept  sure  possession  of  it.  Prince  Lhewelyn  also  find- 
A.D.  1218.  ing  that  those  had  become  his  foes,  who  had  but  lately 
courted  his  friendship,  and  fearing  lest  the  English  being 
now  in  arms  should  make  any  attempt  upon  his  castles, 
augmented  the  garrisons  of  Caermardhyn  and  Aberteifi,  to 
make  them  capable  of  withstanding  the  English,  in  case 
they  should  come  against  them.  Though  the  Welsh  and 
English  were  thus  at  open  variance  and  in  actual  hostility 
one  against  the  other,  yet  young  Rhys,  with  Prince  Lhe- 
welyn's  approbation  and  consent,  thought  it  advisable  to  go 
and  do  homage  to  the  king  of  England,  for  his  lands  in 
Wales.  It  might  have  been  thought  a  matter  of  superero- 
gation thus  to  pay  court  to  one  who  was  a  declared  enemy  to 
all  the  Welsh,  and  one  that  would  not  in  all  probability 
suffer  him  to  enjoy  a  quiet  possession  of  his  estate,  if  he  had 
ability  and  opportunity  to  eject  him :  but  the  Welsh  interest 

1219.  was  now  greatly  augmented  by  a  new  alliance  with  some  of 
the  most  powerful  among  the  English ;  Rhys  Gryc,  son  of 
Prince  Rhys,  being  married  to  the  Earl  of  Clare's  daughter ; 
and  Marret,  daughter  of  Prince  Lhewelyn,  to  John  de 

The  Prince  of  Wales  had  very  soon  an  occasion  to  exer- 
cise his  power,  for  the  Flemings  in  Dyfed,  who  had  lately 
sworn  allegiance  to  him,  began  now  to  repent  of  what  they 
had  but  a  short  time  ago  gladly  submitted  to,  and  contrary 
to  their  oaths,  and  to  the  league  they  had  sworn  to  observe, 
they  attacked  Aberteifi  castle,  which  they  took.  Prince 
Lhewelyn,  being  highly  displeased  with  the  treacherous 
practices  of  these  perjured  Flemings,  marched  with  all 
speed  to  Aberteifi,  and  having  recovered  the  castle,  which 
he  afterwards  rased,  he  put  all  the  garrison  to  the  sword. 
Gwys  was  served  in  the  same  manner,  and  the  town  of 

1220.  Haverford  was  burnt  to  the  ground,  and  overrunning  Rhos 
and  Daugledhau,f  he  committed  a  lamentable  destruction 
throughout  the  whole  country.     This  the  Flemings  received 
as  the  due  reward  of  their  sinistrous  dealing,  which  soon 
made  them  aware  of  their  folly,  and  their  imprudent  be- 
haviour towards  the  Prince  of  Wales ;  and  therefore  being 
mournfully  convinced  how  unable  they  were  to  prevent  his 
farther  progress  by  force  of  arms,  they  made  overtures  for  a 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  279.  Some  time  afterwards  he  likewise  married  another  of  hi» 
daughters  to  a  Scotch  lord,  who  was  nephew  and  heir  to  the  Earl  of  Chester. — 
Holinshead,  p.  204. 

f  Or  «  Two  Swords." 


cessation  of  all  hostilities  till  the  May  following,  which  being 
granted  them  upon  strict  conditions,  Prince  Lhewelyn  re- 
turned to  North  Wales.  In  the  mean  time  some  Welsh 
lords  besieged  Bnelht  castle,  which  was  in  the  }x>ssession  of 
Reynald  Bruce,  but  before  they  could  take  it,  King  Henry 
brought  an  army  to  the  marches  and  raised  the  siege,  and 
then  marching  forward  to  Montgomery,  built  a  new  castle 
in  that  town.* 

The  next  year  an  unhappy  dissension  fell  out  betwixt  A.  D.  1221. 
Prince  Lhewelyn  and  his  son  Gruffydh ;  the  latter  having 
kept  himself  in  possession  of  the  Cantref  of  Merioneth,  con- 
trary to  the  consent  arid  approbation  of  his  father.     The 
Prince,  therefore,  having  now  no  great  matter  of  moment 
abroad,  was  resolved  to  curb  the  insolence  of  his  son,  and 
sent  to  him  to  command  his  appearance,  and  to  direct  him 
to  deliver  up  the  Cantref  quietly,  lest  he  should  be  forced  to 
take  it  violently  out  of  his  hands.     Gruffydh  was  not  in  the 
least  dismayed  at  his  threatenings,  but  being  resolved  to 
keep  what  at  present  he  enjoyed,  would  neither  go  to  his 
father,   nor  deliver  up  the  Cantref  to  him.      The  Prince 
being  enraged  that  he  should  be  so  slighted  by  his  son, 
made  a  vehement  protestation,  that  he  would  be  severely 
revenged  both  of  him  and  all  his  accomplices ;  and  therefore 
coming  to  Merionyth  with  a  great  army,  was  resolved  to 
drive  his  son  out  of  the  country.     Gruffydh  made  all  pos- 
sible preparations  to  oppose  his  father,  and  drew  up  his 
forces  to  give  him  battle ;  but  when  both  armies  were  ready 
to  join,  the  differences  between  them  were  happily  com- 
posed, and  Gruffydh  prevailed  upon  to  make  his  submission 
to  his  father,  f     The  prince,  though  he  forgave  his  son  his 
offence,  and  received  him  to  favour,  would  not,  however, 
permit  him  to  enjoy  Merionyth  and  Ardydwy ;   but  taking 
them  away  from  him,  and  building  a  castle  ill  the  latter, 
returned  home.     He  had  not  continued  long  at  his  palace 
at  Aberffraw,  when  another  occasion  called  him  abroad ; 
for  young  Rhys,  being  disappointed  of  Aberteifi,  which  in 
the  division  of  South  Wales  was  allotted  to  his  share,  forsook 
the  prince,  and  put  himself  under  the  protection  of  William 
Marshal  Earl  of  Pembroke.     Prince  Lhewelyn,  hearing  this, 
marched  in  great  haste  to  Aberystwyth,  and  being  desirous 
to  punish  Rhys  for  his  desertion  from  his  allegiance,  seized 
to  his  own  use  that  castle,  together  with  all  the  domain  and 
lands  belonging  to  it.     When  Rhys  understood  what  the 
prince  had  done,  he  made  an  immediate  complaint  to  the 
King  of  England,  who  coming  to  Shrewsbury,  and  sending 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  262.  t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  280, 


for  Prince  Lhewelyn,  so  adjusted  matters  between  them,* 
that  the  Prince  promised  to  treat  with  Rhys  for  Aberteifi, 
after  the  same  manner  as  he  had  done  with  Maelgon  for 
Caermardhyn.  Towards  the  close  of  the  year,  John  Bruce, 
Prince  Lhewelyn's  son-in-law,  obtained  leave  to  fortify 
Senghennyth  castle,  which  in  right  of  the  prince's  grant  to 
Reynald  de  Bruce  belonged  to  him.  Young  Rhys  did  not 
long  survive  the  agreement  between  him  and  Prince  Lhe- 
welyn,  for  he  died  the  following  year,  and  was  buried  at 
Ystratflur  :  after  whose  death  the  prince  divided  his  estate 
between  his  brother  Owen  and  his  uncle  Maelgon. 
A.  D.  1222.  William  Marshal  Earl  of  Pembroke  was  now  in  Ireland, 
busily  engaged  in  prosecuting  the  war  against  the  King  of 
England's  enemies  in  that  kingdom ;  and  taking  advantage 
of  the  opportunity  of  his  absence,  Prince  Lhewelyn  won  the 
castles  of  Aberteifi  and  Caermardhyn,  belonging  to  the  Earl, 
and  putting  both  the  garrisons  to  the  sword,  placed  in  their 
room  a  strong  party  of  his  own  men  ;f  but  when  the  Earl 
was  informed  of  what  the  Prince  of  Wales  had  done,  he 
immediately  left  Ireland,  and  landed  at  St.  David's  with  a 
great  army,  and  having  recovered  his  castles,  he  treated  the 
Welsh  after  the  same  manner  that  Prince  Lhewelyn  had  used 
his  garrisons,  and  passing  forward  into  the  prince's  country, 
destroyed  all  before  him  as  he  went  along.  The  Prince 
understanding  with  what  violence  he  came  forward,  sent  his 
son  Gruffydh  with  a  considerable  body  of  men  to  check  his 
fury ;  who  coming  to  Cydwely,  and  receiving  intelligence 
that  the  chief  men  of  that  place  had  a  private  design  to 
betray  him  to  the  enemy,  he  put  the  whole  town  in  flames, 
and  burnt  it  to  the  ground,  without  sparing  either  churches 
or  other  religious  houses.  The  Earl  of  Pembroke  had 
passed  the  river  Tywy  at  Caermardhyn,  where  Gruffydh 
met  him,  and  gave  him  battle;  but  the  victory  proved  so 
uncertain,  that  night  at  length  parted  them ;  and  then  the 
English  retired  over  the  river.  Matthew  Paris  writes,  that 
the  Earl  obtained  a  very  signal  victory,  and  that  of  the 
Welsh  there  were  nine  thousand  slain  and  taken;  though 
the  Welsh  account,  which  in  this  case  is  in  all  likelihood 
the  best,  makes  the  whole  army  of  the  Welsh  to  consist  but 
of  that  number.:}:  Both  armies  having  lain  for  certain  days 
in  a  posture  of  defence,  with  the  river  Tywy  between  them, 
Gruffydh,  on  account  of  provision  beginning  to  grow  scarce 
in  his  camp,  returned  back;§  and  then  the  Earl  also  de- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  281,  282. 

t  Chr.  Thomas  Wykes,  p.  41.     Chronica  Walter!  Hemingford,  p.  564.     Matth.  Westm. 
p.  86.     Matth,  Paris,  p.  267. 

t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  282.  §  Ibid. 


camped,  and  marched  to  Cilgerran,  where  he  began  to  build 
a  very  strong  castle  ;  but  before  he  had  time  to  finish  it,  he 
received  an  express  from  the  king,  with  orders  to  come  to 
him  ;  and  so  he  went  by  sea  to  London,  leaving  his  army 
at  Cilgerran,  to  continue  the  work  which  he  had  begun. 
Shortly  after,  the  king,  together  with  the  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  came  to  Ludlow,  and  sendhijg  for  Prince  Lhe- 
welyn  thither,  they  hoped  to  adjust  all  differences,  and  to 
make  an  amicable  arrangement  between  him  and  the  Earl ; 
but  this  could  not  be  effected,  both  parties  adhering  to  their 
own  private  views;  the  Earl,  therefore,  being  assisted  by 
the  Earl  of  Derby  and  Henry  Pyggot  Lord  of  Ewyas,  pur- 
posed to  pass  by  land  to  Pembroke  ;  but  his  intention  being 
discovered  to  the  prince,  he  detached  his  son  to  secure  the 
passage  of  Carnwylhion,  and  came  in  person  to  Mahedryd ; 
which  when  the  Earl  understood,  finding  it  dangerous  to 
prosecute  his  design  any  further,  he  returned  to  England ; 
and  then  the  prince  marched  to  North  Wales.*  The  next  A.  D.  1227. 
action  that  passed  in  Wales  was  of  a  nature  somewhat 
rare,  and  not  redounding  much  to  the  credit  of  the 
Welsh ;  for  Rhys  Fychan  having  by  some  treacherous 
means  or  other  taken  prisoner  his  father  Rhys  Gryc,  con- 
trary to  all  filial  affection  and  duty,  detained  him  prisoner, 
and  would  not  set  him  at  liberty  till  he  had  delivered  up 
Lhanymdhyfri  castle  to  him.  About  the  same  time, 
Meredith  Archdeacon  of  Cardigan,  son  of  Prince  Rhys, 
departed  this  life,  and  was  honourably  interred  at  St. 
David's,  by  his  father. 

A  short  time  after,  a  great  storm  threatened  the  Welsh  ;  j228. 
King  Henry  having  raised  a  numerous  army,  was  resolved 
to  prosecute  to  a  termination  the  Earl  of  Pembroke's  quar- 
rel against  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and  if  possible,  to  make  all 
that  country  for  ever  subject  to  the  crown  of  England ;  and, 
advancing  into  the  marches,  he  encamped  at  Ceri.f  Prince 
Lhewelyn,  on  the  other  hand,  being  informed  of  these 
mighty  preparations  in  England,  and  understanding  that 
they  were  intended  against  him,  used  all  the  endeavours 
possible  to  make  a  vigorous  resistance ;  and  having  drawn 
together  all  the  forces  he  was  able  to  levy,  thought  it  his 
wisest  plan  to  meet  the  English  upon  the  marches,  and  not 
to  permit  them  to  enter  his  country.  Both  armies  being 
come  in  sight  of  each  other,  frequent  skirmishes  happened 
betwixt  them;  but  one  day,  almost  the  whole  of  both 
armies  engaged,  and  after  a  vigorous  attack  on  both  sides, 
the  English  got  the  worst,  and  were  forced  to  retire,  having 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  283.  f  In  Montgomeryshire. 


a  great  number  of  men  slain  and  taken  prisoners.     Among 
the   latter,   was   William   de   Bruce,   Reynald's  son,  who 
offered  for  his  ransom  all  Buelht,  together  with  a  consider- 
able sum  of  money,  which  the  prince  would  not  accept. 
King  Henry,  finding  that  his  army  was  worsted  in  this 
encounter,   thought  it  advisable  to  make  peace  with  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  which  being  concluded,  Lhewelyn  came  to 
the  king,  and  having  paid  him  all  other  respects,  excepting 
that  of   submission  and  allegiance,  he  returned  in  great 
honour  to  North  Wales.     This  action  is  somewhat  other- 
wise laid  down  by  Matthew  Paris,*  who  writes,  that  this 
skirmish   betwixt  the  English  and  Welsh  happened  upon 
another  account.      He  says,  the  garrison  of  Montgomery 
issuing  out  of  the  castle  to  enlarge  a  certain  passage  leading 
through  a  wood,  where  the  Welsh  were  wont  to  rob  and 
kill  all  passengers,  began  to  fell  the  timber,  and  cut  down 
all  the  bushes  which  bounded  the  road,  thereby  intending 
to  make  the  passage  more  clear  and  secure.     The  Welsh 
receiving  intelligence  of  this,  came  immediately  upon  them 
in  great  numbers,  and  surprising  the  men  of  the  garrison, 
who  were  busy  at  their  labour,  forced  as  many  as  could 
escape  to  betake  themselves  for  refuge  into  the  castle,  which 
afterwards,  having  first  cast  a  deep  trench  about  it,  they 
boldly  invested.     Hubert  de  Burgh,  Lord  Chief  Justice  of 
England,  and  owner  of  the  castle,  having  notice  of  this,  sent 
to  King  Henry,  desiring  his  speedy  help  against  the  Welsh, 
who  thereupon  came  in  person  with  part  of  his  army,  and 
raised  the  siege.     Then,  the  rest  of  his  forces  being  arrived, 
he  marched  into  the  wood,  which  was  5  miles  in  length,f  and 
by  reason  of  the  thickness  of  the  growth,  impassable  ;  and, 
for  an  easy  passage  through  it,  caused  it  to  be  burnt  down. 
After  that,  he  led  his  army  farther  into  the  country,  and 
coming  to  an  abbey  called  Cridia,J  to  which  the  Welsh  were 
wont  to  resort  for  refuge,  he  caused  it  to  be  burnt  down ; 
but  finding  it  a  very  convenient  place  for  a  fortress,  he 
granted  leave  to  Hubert  de  Burgh  to  build  a  castle  there.  § 
Whilst  the  work  of  building  this  castle  was  going  on,  the 
Welshmen  annoyed  the  English,  and  skirmished  with  them 
frequently,  so  that  many  were  slain  on  both  sides ;  but  at 
last  William  de  Bruce  with  many  others  that  went  abroad  to 
fetch  provision,  were  intercepted  by  the  Welsh,  and  taken 
prisoners,  and  most  of  Bruce's  company  were  slain,  amorig 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  295. 

f  Warrington  (vol.  ii.  p.  56)  says  this  wood  was  15  miles  in  length. 
J  A  solitary  place,  called  Cridia,  of  the  Carmelite  order,  an  abbey  belonging  to  the 
White  Friars. 

§  Matthew  Paris,  p.  295. 


whom  one  that  was  knighted  a  few  days  before,  seeing  some 
of  his  fellows  in  great  danger,  rushed  boldly  into  the  midst 
of  his  enemies,  and  after  a  manful  defence  bravely  lost  his 
life.  Several  of  King  Henry's  men  were  corrupted  by 
Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  upon  that  account  took  no  great  pains 
to  repulse  the  enemy ;  which  when  the  king  perceived,  and 
finding  withal  that  provision  was  grown  very  scarce  in  his 
camp,  he  was  forced  to  conclude  a  dishonourable  peace  with 
the  Welsh,  consenting  to  demolish  that  castle,  which  with 
so  great  an  expence  both  of  men  and  money  was  now  almost 
finished  upon  his  own  charges,  Prince  Lhewelyn  paying 
only  three  thousand  pounds  towards  it.*  Then  both  armies 
separated,  Prince  Lhewelyn  marching  to  North  Wales ;  and 
the  king,  leaving  William  de  Bruce  prisoner  with  the 
Welsh,  returned  to  England,  having  obtained  much  dis- 
credit in  this  expedition. 

William  de  Bruce  was  brought  to  Wales^  and  there  had  A.  D.  1230. 
an  honourable  confinement  in  the  prince's  palace  ;f  but  he 
had  not  continued  there  "long  before  he  began  to  be  sus- 
pected of  being  too  familiar  with  the  princess,  King  Henry's 
sister ;  and,  as  the  report  went,  was  taken  in  the  very  act  of 
adultery ;  for  which  the  prince  caused  him  to  be  hanged 
forthwith.^  About  the  same  time,  Lhewelyn,  son  of  Mael- 
gon,  died  in  North  Wales,  and  was  buried  at  Conwey :  and 
Maelgon,  son  of  Prince  Rhys,  in  South  Wales,  and  was 
buried  at  Ystratflur;  whose  estate  descended  to  his  son 
Maelgon.  A  little  afterwards  William  Marshal  Earl  of 
Pembroke  died,  one  that  ever  entertained  an  inveterate  1231. 
enmity  to  the  Welsh,  and  upon  whose  account  King  Henry 
had  chiefly  brought  his  army  into  Wales.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded both  in  his  title  and  estate  by  his  brother  Richard, 
who  was  much  more  favourably  inclined  towards  the  Welsh, 
and  never  attempted  any  thing  against  them.  The  King  of 
England  now  resolved  to  retrieve  the  honour  he  had  lost  in 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  295.  f  At  Aber. 

J  Matthew  West.  p.  97,  says,  he  was  put  to  death  without  reason  ;  so  say  many 
other  English  writers.  The  tradition  of  the  country  is,  that  a  bard  of  the  palace,  acci- 
dentally meeting  with  the  princess,  (who  was  ignorant  of  the  fate  of  her  lover,)  accosted 
her  in  the  following  manner  j  and  on  receiving  her  answer,  shewed  him  to  her  hanging 
on  a  tree. 

Diccyn  doccyn,  gwraig  Llywelyn, 
Beth  y  roit'i  am  weled  Gwilim  ? 

The  princess's  answer —  > 

Cymry,  Lloegr,  a  Llywelyn 
Y  rown'i  gyd,  am  weled  Gwilim. 

BARD. — Tell  me,  wife  of  Llywelyn,  what  would  you  give  for  a  sight  of  your  William  ? 
PRINCESS.— Wales,  England,  and  Llywelyn  to  boot,  I  would  give  them  all  to  see  my 


the  late  expedition  against  the  Welsh ;  and  therefore  being 
returned  from  France,  whither  he  had  made  a  descent,  to 
recover  what  his  father  had  lost  in  that  kingdom,  he  came  to 
Wales;    and  having  remained  some  time  in  the  marches, 
he  returned  again  to  England,  leaving  his  army  under  the 
command  of  Hubert  Burgh  Earl  of  Kent,  to  defend  the 
marches  against  any  inroad  which  the  Welsh  might  attempt. 
He  had  not  remained  there  long,  when  he  received  intelli- 
gence that  a  party  of  Welsh  had  entered  the  marches  near 
Montgomery,  whom  he  forthwith  pursued,   and  attacking 
them  unawares,  he  put  a  great  number  of  them  to  the  sword. 
Prince  Lhewelyn,  hearing  of  this,  came  in  person  with  a 
great  army  to  the  marches,  and  encamping  before  Mont- 
gomery castle,  he  forced  Hubert  to  withdraw,   and  then 
making  himself  master  of  the  place,  he  burnt  it  to  the 
ground,  and  put  the  garrison  to  the  sword ;    the  like  fate 
attended  the  castles  of  Radnor,  Aberhondhy,  RhayadrGwy, 
Caerlheon,  Neth,  and  Cydwely;    though  Caerlheon  held 
out  very  obstinately,  and  the  prince  had  several  of  his  men 
destroyed  before  the  place.     King  Henry  being  informed 
what  miserable  desolation  the  Prince  of  Wales  was  success- 
fully committing  upon  his  subjects  in  these  countries,  had 
him   immediately   excommunicated;    and  then  coming   to 
Hereford  with  a  mighty  army,  he  detached  the  greatest  part 
of  it,  with  a  great  number  of  his  nobility,  to  Wales.     These, 
by  the  direction  of  a  friar  of  Cymer,  unexpectedly,  as  they 
thought,  fell  upon  a  party  of  Welsh ;    who  at  the  first  en- 
counter seemed  to  fly,  till  they  had  allured  the  English  to 
pursue  them  to  a  place  where  a  greater  party  of  Welsh  lay 
in  ambuscade ;  who  rushing  of  a  sudden  upon  the  English, 
put  them  in  such  confusion,  that  the  greatest  part  of  them 
were  cut  off.     The  king,  being  convinced  that  this  was  a 
treacherous  device  of  the  friar,  was  resolved  to  be  revenged, 
by  burning  the  abbey  of  Cymer ;  but  the  prior,  for  three 
hundred  marks,  prevented  it ;  and  so  the  king  returned  to 
England,  having  effected  nothing  in  this  expedition,  besides 
the  building  of  Mawd  castle.     In  the  mean  time,  Maelgon, 
son  of  Maelgon  ap  Rhys,  laid  siege  to  Aberteifi,  and  having 
by  force  got  entry  into  the  town,  he  put  all  the  inhabitants 
to  the  sword,  then  destroyed  all  before  him  to  the  castle 
gates,  which  were  so  strongly  fortified,  that  it  seemed  almost 
impracticable  to  take  it  in  any  short  time ;  but  Maelgon, 
being  joined  by  his  cousin  Owen,  son  of  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys, 
was  resolved  to  try  the  utmost  that  could  be  effected ;  and 
therefore  taking  with  him  some  of  Prince  Lhewelyn's  most 
experienced  officers,  he  broke  down  the  bridge  upon  the 



river  Teifi,  and  then  investing  the  castle  more  closely,  he  so 
battered  and  undermined  it,  that  he  became  in  a  little  time 
master  of  it. 

The  year  following,  Prince  Lhewelyn  made  a  descent  A.  D.  1232. 
upon  England,   and  having  committed  very  considerable 
waste   and  destruction   upon  the  borders,   he  returned  to 
North  Wales  with  a  rich   booty  in  prisoners  and  cattle. 
King    Henry,   to   scourge  the  Welsh  for   these  grievous 
devastations,  and  to  prevent  their  further  incursions  into 
England,  demanded  a  very  great  subsidy  of  his  subjects  to 
carry  on  the  war  against  the  Welsh ;  which  being  granted 
him,  he  made  every  preparation  for  his  expedition  to  Wales/ 
In  the  mean  time,  Randulph  Earl  of  Chester  died,  and  was* 
succeeded  in  that  honour  by  John  his  sister's  son,  who  was 
afterwards  married  to  Prince  Lhewelyn's  daughter.      The 
English  in  Wales,  being  in  expectation  of  King  Henry's 
coming  thither,  began  to  repair  and  fortify  their  castles ; 
and  particularly,  Richard  Earl  of  Cornwal  rebuilt  Radnor  1233. 
castle,  which   the   prince  had    lately   destroyed.      Prince 
Lhewelyn  was  sufficiently  aware  that  the  king  of  England 
intended  an  invasion,  and  therefore  to  be  before-hand  with 
him,  he  came  with  an  army  to  Brecknock,  and  destroyed  all 
the  towns  and  Castles  throughout  the  country,  excepting 
Brecknock  castle,  which  was   defended   so  manfully,  that 
after  a  month's  encampment  before  it,  he  was  at  last  con- 
strained to  raise  the  siege.     In  his  return  to  North  Wales, 
he  burnt  the  town  of  Clun,  recovered  all  the  country  called 
Dyflfryn  Tefeidiat,  in  the  possession  of  John  Fitzalan,  de- 
stroyed Red  Castle  in  Powis,  and  burnt  Oswestry.*     At 
this  time,  very  fortunately  for  the  Welsh,  Richard  Marshal 
Earl  of  Pembroke,  having  differed  with  King  Henry,  took 
part  with  Prince  Lhewelyn  ;  with  whom  joined  Hubert  de 
Burgh,  who  had  lately  made  his  escape  out  of  the  castle  of 
Devizes,  where  the  king,  upon  some  articles  of  information 
brought  against  him,  had  committed  him  to  prison.f     The 
Earl  of  Pembroke,  attended  by  Owen  ap  Gruffydh  ap  Rhys, 
came  to  St.  David's ;  and  being  very  glad  of  an  opportunity 
to  revenge  himself  upon  the  king,  slew  every  one  that  owned 
any  dependence  upon  the  crown  of  England.     Maelgon  and 
Rhys  Gryc,  with  all  the  forces  of  Prince  Lhewelyn,  quickly 
joined  the  Earl ;  and  they  in  their  march  through  the  country 

Q  2 

*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  28§. 

f  Among  other  frivolous  crimes  objected  against  this  minister,  he  was  accused  of  pur- 
loining from  the  royal  treasury  a  gem,  which  had  the  virtue  of  rendering  the  wearer 
invulnerable,  and  of  sending  this  valuable  curiosity  to  the  Prince  of  North  Wales.— 
Matthew  Paris,  p.  259. 


took  the  castles  of  CardyfF,  Abergavenny,  Pencelby, 
Blaenlhefyni,  and  Bwlch  y  Dinas,  all  of  which,  excepting 
CardyfF,  they  burnt  to  the  ground.  The  king  receiving 
intelligence  that  the  Earl  of  Pembroke  had  entered  into 
a  confederacy  with  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and  that  he  was 
now  in  open  hostility  against  his  subjects  in  that  country, 
gathered  a  very  formidable  army,  consisting,  besides  Eng- 
lish, of  Flemings,  Normans,  and  Gascoigns  ;  and  coming  to 
Wales,  he  encamped  at  Grosmont,  where  the  Earl  with  the 
Welsh  army  met  him.  But  when  the  English  would  have 
endeavoured  to  advance  further  into  the  country,  the  Welsh 
opposed  them,  and  a  battle  ensued,  wherein  the  English  lost 
five  hundred  horse,  besides  a  far  greater  number  of  their 
infantry.  The  Welsh  having  gained  a  considerable  victory 
in  this  action,  the  king  was  advised  to  withdraw  his  forces, 
lest  the  Welsh  should  again  attack  them,  and  they  should 
sustain  a  greater  loss;  which  counsel  the  king  willingly 
hearkened  to,  and  returned  for  England.  The  English 
being  withdrawn,  the  Earl  likewise  decamped,  and  marched 
to  Caermardhyn,  which  he  besieged ;  but  after  three  months 
vain  assault,  the  garrison  most  bravely  defending  the  place, 
and  the  English  fleet  having  thrown  in  new  provisions,  he 
thought  it  most  advisable  to  raise  the  siege.  Shortly  after, 
Rhys  Gryc,  son  to  Prince  Rhys,  died  at  Lhandeilo  Fawr, 
and  was  honourably  interred  by  his  father  at  St.  David's. 
About  the  same  time,  Maelgon  Fychan,  son  of  Maelgon  ap 
Rhys,  finished  Trefilean  castle,  which  was  begun  in  his 
father's  time. 

A.  D.  1234.  King  Henry  was  not  willing  to  hazard  any  more  cam- 
paigns in  Wales,  and  therefore  he  appointed  John  of 
Monmouth,  a  great  soldier  and  general  of  the  English 
forces,  warden  of  the  marches  of  Wales,  who  thinking  to 
get  to  himself  an  eternal  name  in  conquering  the  Welsh, 
raised  all  the  power  he  could ;  and  imagining  that  the 
Welsh  would  not  be  aware  of  his  purpose,  he  thought  he 
could  fall  upon  the  Earl  Marshal  unexpectedly:  but  in 
this  he  was,  to  his  sorrow,  much  mistaken ;  for  the  Earl 
having  received  private  intimation  of  his  design,  hid  himself 
and  his  forces  in  a  wood  by  which  the  English  were  to 
march,  and  when  they  were  come  to  a  certain  place,  the 
Welsh  of  a  sudden  gave  a  great  shout,  and  leaping  out  of 
the  place  in  which  they  had  concealed  themselves,  they  fell 
upon  the  English,  who  were  unprovided,  and  putting  their 
whole  army  to  flight,  they  slew  an  infinite  number  both  of 
the  English  and  their  auxiliaries.  John  of  Monmouth 
himself  niade  his  escape  by  flight ;  but  the  Earl  Marshal 



entering  his  country,  destroyed  it  by  fire  and  sword;  and 
what  added  to  the  misery  of  the  English,  Prince  Lhewelyn, 
in  the  week  after  Epiphany,  joining  the  Earl  Marshal,  made 
an  incursion  into  the  king's  territories,  destroying  all  before 
them,  from  the  confines  of  Wales  to  Shrewsbury,*  a  great 
part  of  which  they  laid  in  ashes.  King  Henry  was  during 
these  transactions  with  the  Bishop  of  Winchester  at  Glou- 
cester, and  for  want  of  sufficient  power  or  courage  to 
confront  the  enemy,  durst  not  take  the  field;  of  which 
being  at  length  perfectly  ashamed,  he  removed  to  Win- 
chester, leaving  the  marches  exposed  to  the  mercy  of  the 
enemy.  There  being  now  no  apprehension  of  attack  from 
the  English,  the  Earl  of  Pembroke,  by  the  counsel  of 
Geoffrey  de  Marisco,  transported  his  army  into  Ireland, 
thinking  to  obtain  a  conquest  in  that  kingdom ;  but  in  the 
first  encounter  with  the  Irish,  he  was  unfortunately  slain 
through  the  treachery  of  his  own  men :.  and  so  his  estate 
and  title  descended  to  his  brother  Gilbert. 

King  Henry,  finding  it  impracticable  to  force  the  Welsh 
to  a  submission,  and  being  in  a  great  measure  weary  of 
continual  wars  and  incessant  hostilities,  thought  it  most 
prudent  to  make  some  honourable  agreement  with  the 
Prince  of  Wales ;  and  therefore  he  deputed  Edmund  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  the  Bishops  of  Rochester,  Coventry, 
Lichfield,  and  Chester,  to  treat  with  Prince  Lhewelyn 
about  a  peace,  f  When  the  king  .came  to  meet  with  them 
on  their  return  from  this  negociation,  being  at  Woodstock, 
he  was  informed  of  the  death  of  the  Earl  of  Pembroke, 
which  he  took  so  much  to  heart  that  he  shed  tears,  being 
afflicted  for  the  death  of  so  great  a  person,  who,  as  the 
king  openly  declared,  had  not  left  his  second  in  all  his  king- 
dom. Going  from  thence  to  Gloucester,  he  met  with  the 
archbishop  and  bishops,  who  delivered  to  him  the  form  of 
the  treaty  of  peace  with  Prince  Lhewelyn,  which  the  latter 
would  not  conclude  but  upon  this  condition :— That  all  the 
English  nobility  who  were  confederated  with  him,  and  by 
evil  counsel  were  exiled,  should  be  recalled  and  restored  to 
the  king's  favour.  The  Archbishop  further  acquainted  his 
Majesty  with  what  difficulty  he  had  brought  the  matter  to 
this  conclusion,  being  sometimes  forced  to  add  threatenings 
on  the  king's  behalf,  as  also  on  behalf  of  his  clergy ;  to 
which  menaces  the  prince  is  said  to  have  answered,— that 
he  bore  more  regard  to  the  king's  charity  and  piety  than  he 
did  fear  of  his  arms  or  dread  of  his  clergy.  The  king,  who 
was  very  desirous  of  a  peace,  readily  consented  to  what  the 

*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  332.  f  Brady's  History  of  England,  vol.  1,  p.  335. 


prince  required;  and  therefore  he  issued  out  his  letters, 
recalling  all  the  nobles  who  were  outlawed,  or  otherwise 
exiled,  requiring  them  to  appear  at  Gloucester  upon  Sun- 
day next  before  Ascension-day,  where  they  should  receive 
their  pardons,  and  have  their  estates  restored  to  them, 
which  the  king  had  taken  into  his  own  hands. 

The  peace  being  thus  concluded  betwixt  the  English  and 
Welsh,  Prince  Lhewelyn  set  his  son  Gruffydh  at  liberty, 
whom,  for  his  disobedient  and  restless  humour,   he  had 
detained  in  close  prison  for  the  space  of  six  years.*     About 
the  same  time,  Cadwalhon  ap  Maelgon,  of  Melienydh,  de- 
parted this  life,  who  was  soon  followed  by  Owen,  son  of 
Gruffydh  ap  Rhys,  a  person  of  great  worth,  and  exceedingly 
beloved,  who  was  buried  at  Ystratflur  by  his  brother  Rhys. 
A.  D.  1235.  The  year  following,  died  Owen  ap  Meredith  ap  Rotpert,  of 
(Cydewen;    and  not  long  after  him,    Madawc  the   son   of 
Gruffydh   Maelor,    Lord  of  Bromfield,  Chirk,  and  Yale, 
who   was  buried  at  the  abbey  of  Lhan  Egwest,  or  Valle 
Crucis,   which   he  had  built,  leaving  issue  one  son  called 
Gruffydh,   who  succeeded  into  the  possession  of  all  these 
Jordships.f     A  short  time  after,  Gilbert  Earl  of  Pembroke 
got  by  treachery  Marchen  castle,  which  belonged  to  Morgan 
ap  Howel,  and  fortified  the  same  very  strongly,  for  fear  of 
Prince  Lhewelyn.      The  next   spring  Joan,  King  John's 
daughter,  and  Princess  of  Wales,  departed  this  life,   and 
was  buried,  according  to  her  own    desire,   upon  the  sea^ 
shore,  at  a  place  called  Lhanfaes,  in  the  isle  of  Anglesey  ; 
where  the  Prince,  in  memory  of  her,  afterwards  founded  a 
religious  house  for  the  order  of  mendicant.  friars.J     About 
the  same  time  also  died  John  Scot,  Earl  of  Chester,  with- 
out any  issue,  upon  which   account  the  king  seized   that 
earldom  into  his  own  hands.     Hugh  Lupus  was  the  first 
that  enjoyed  this  honour,  who  coming  over  to  England  with 
the  Conqueror,  was  by  him  created  Earl   of  Chester  and 
Sword-bearer  of  England;  ffabendum  et  tenendum  dictum 
comitatum  Cestriee,  sibi  et  hceredibus  suis9  ita  libere  ad 
gladiu?n,  si$ut  ip$e  rex  totam  tenebat  Anglican  ad  coror 
nam :    To  have  and  to  hold  the  said  county  of  Chester  to 
him  and  his  heirs,  by  right  of  the  sword,  as  freely  and 
securely  as  the  king  held  the  realm  of  England  in  the  right 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  292. — We  are  not  acquainted  with  the  nature  of  the  offence  by 
which  Gruffydd  had  again  incurred  his  father's  displeasure.  But  there  was  a  rigour 
interwoven  into  the  destiny  of  this  gallant  prince,  which  discoloured  the  whole  tenor  pf 
his  life,  and  has  marked  him  the  child  of  adversity. 

f  Welsh  Chn.n.'p  293 

\  A  testimony  of  respect  to  her  memory,  which  renders  at  least  doubtful  the  criminal 
part  of  her  conduct;  and  may,  in  some  degree,  take  away  the  stain  which  history  has 
cast  upun  her  fa/ne.-—  Welsh  Chron.  p.  293.— See  note  in  History  of  Gwedir  family. 


of  the  crown.  After  five  descents,  Randolph  Bohun  came 
to  be  Earl  of  Chester,  who  was  uncle  to  this  John,  the  last 
Earl.  This  Randolph  had  several  encounters  with  Prince 
Lhewelyn,  and  was  in  continual  warfare  against  him ;  but 
once  more  particularly  meeting  with  the  prince,  and  being 
sensible  of  his  inability  to  withstand  him,  he  was  obliged  to 
retire  for  refuge  to  the  castle  of  Ruddlan,  which  the  prince 
immediately  besieged.  Randolph,  perceiving  himself  to  be 
in  danger,  sent  to  Roger  Lacy,  constable  of  Chester,  re- 
qoesting  him  to  raise  what  strength  he  possibly  coold  and 
come  to  his  assistance  in  this  extremity ;  upon  which  Lacy 
called  to  him  all  his  friends,  and  desired  them  to  make  all 
the  endeavours  in  their  power  to  rescue  the  Earl  from  that 
imminent  danger  which  now  threatened  him :  on  this  re- 
quest, Ralph  Dutton,  son-in-law  of  Lacy,  a  valiant  youth, 
assembled  together  all  the  players  and  musicians,  and  such 
others  as  then,  being  fair- time,  had  met  to  make  merry, 
and  presenting  them  to  the  constable,  he  forthwith  marched 
to  Ruddlan,  raised  the  siege,  and  delivered  the  Earl  from 
his  perilous  situation.  Tn  recompence  for  this  service,  the 
Earl  granted  to  the  constable  several  freedoms  and  privi- 
leges; and  to  Dutton  the  ruling  and  ordering  all  players 
and  musicians  within  the  said  county,  to  be  enjoyed  by  him 
and  by  his  heirs  for  ever. 

In  the  year  1238,  Prince  Lheweiyn,  being  indisposed  in  A.  D.  1238. 
body,  called  onto  him  all  the  lords  and  barons  of  Wales  to 
Ystratflur,*  where  each  of  them  swore  to  remain  troe  and 
faithful  sobjects,  and  did  homage  to  David  his  son,  whom 
he  had  named  to  socceed  him.t  Matthew  ParisJ  writes, 
that  Prince  Lhewelyn  being  impotent  by  reason  of  a  palsy, 
and  sore  disquieted  by  his  son  Gruffydh,  sent  ambassadors 
to  the  king  of  England,  signifying  to  him,  that  forasmojch 
as  he  coold  not  expect  to  live  long  by  reason  of  his  age,  he 
was  desiroos  to  lead  the  remainder  of  his  days  in  peace  and 
tranquillity ;  and  therefore  now  purposed  to  subrnit  himself 
to  the  government  and  protection  of  the  king,  and  would 
hold  his  lands  of  him;  promising  withal,  that  whenever  the 
king  should  stand  in  need  of  his  help,  he  would  serve  him 
both  with  men  and  money  to  the  utmost  of  his  power.g 
The  bishops  of  Hereford  and  Chester  were  sent  as  mediators 
in  his  behalf,])  though  some  of  the  nobility  of  Wales  openly 
and  peremptorily  withstood  it,  and  upon  no  condition  what- 
soever would  accept  of  such  a  peace.lf  David  being  thus 


*  Strata  Florida, 
•f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  297.— British  Ant.  Reviv.  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  23. 

J  Matthew  Paris,  p.  369.  §  Welsh  Chron.  p.  297. 

||  Brady's  History  of  England,  p.  567.— Matthew  Paris,  p.  369. 

$  Welsh  Chron.  p.  298.— Matthew  Paris,  369.— Matthew  Westm.  p.  110. 


declared  successor  to  the  principality,  began  to  molest  his 
brother  Gruffydh,  who,  though  his  elder,  was  base-born, 
and  took  from  him  Arustly,  Ceri,  Cyfeilioc,  Mowdhwy, 
Mocbnant,  and  Caereineon,  and  let  him  only  enjoy  the 
Cantref  of  Lhyn ;  but  a  little  afterwards  he  dispossessed 
him  of  all,  and  contrary  to  his  oath  to  the  bishop  of  Bangor, 
in  whose  protection  Gruffydh  then  remained,  took  him 
prisoner,  (having,  upon  promise  that  no  violence  should  be 
done  to  him,  obtained  an  interview  with  him,)  and  sent  him 
A.  D.  1240.  to  Cricieth  castle.*  Whilst  these  two  brothers  continued 
to  entertain  an  irreconcileable  hatred  one  to  another,  their 
father,  Prince  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth,  to  the  great  regret  of 
all  the  Welsh,  departed  this  life,  and  was  honourably  in- 
terred in  the  abbey  of  Conwey,  after  he  had  reigned  fifty-six 
years.f  He  was  a  prince  of  great  courage,  and  had  no  less 
prudence  in  contriving  than  boldness  in  executing  any  mar- 
tial adventure;  he  was  a  great  support  to  the  Welsh,  and 
no  less  an  annoyance  to  the  English ;  he  made  very  consi- 
derable conquests  upon  the  borders,  and  extended  the 
frontiers  of  Wales  much  beyond  their  former  limits.:}:  He 
had  issue  by  his  only  wife  Joan,  daughter  to  King  John  of 
England,  one  son  called  David,  who  afterwards  succeeded 
in  the  principality  of  Wales,§  and  a  daughter  named  Gladys, 
who  was  married  to  Sir  Ralph  Mortimer.||  He  had  also  a 
base-born  son,  named  Gruffydh,  whom  his  brother  David 
kept  a  close  prisoner  to  his  dying  day. 


JL  RINCE  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth  being  deceased,  his 
only  legitimate  son  David,  whom  all  the  barons  of  Wales 
had,  as  before  stated,  in  his  father's  life-time,  sworn  to 
obey,  legally  succeeded  in  the  government;  wherein  being 
actually  confirmed,  he  went  to  the  king  of  England  to 
Gloucester,  and  there  did  him  homage  for  his  principality ; 
and  all  the  barons,  both  English  and  Welsh,  who  held  any 
lands  in  Wales,  in  like  manner  did  homage  and  fealty  for 
the  same :  but  the  English  could  not  long  refrain  from  their 
wonted  hostilities  towards  the  Welsh ;  and  Gilbert  Marshal, 


*  A  fortress  situate  on  the  verge  of  the  sea  in  Caernarvonshire. — Welsh  Chron.  p.  208. 
—•Matthew  Paris,  p.  470. 

f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  298. 

I  Mr.  Warrington,  at  the  close  of  this  reign,  says  -"  His  talents  and  his  virtues,  with 
the  fortunate  direction  of  both,  have  given  to  this  prince  the  illustrious  title  of  Lhcwdyn 
the  Great." 

§  Brit.  Ant.  Reviv.  by  Vaughan  of  Hengwrt,  p.  27. 
||  Memoir  of  Guedir  Family,  p.  24. 


taking  advantage  of  the  death  of  Lhewelyn  before  matters 
were  thoroughly  settled,  brought  an  army  against  the  castle 
of  Aberteifi,  which  being  delivered  up  to  him,  he  fortified 
with  a  strong  garrison.  Prince  David  was  as  yet  too  weak 
to  appear  in  the  field;  and  the  more  so,  because  several 
of  his  nobility  and  others  did  not  bear  true  regard  for  him, 
on  account  of  the  harsh  treatment  he  had  shown  to  his 
brother  Gruffydh,  whom,  for  no  just  reason,  he  detained  in 
close  custody  :  but  above  the  rest,  Richard  bishop  of  Ban- 
gor  expressed  himself  strongly  to  the  prince,  and  finding 
that  he  had  violated  the  promise  that  he  had  made  to  set 
his  brother  at  liberty,  whom,  under  pretence  of  an  amicable 
consultation,  he  had  fraudulently  seized  upon  in  the  bishop's 
presence,  he  without  hesitation  excommunicated  him;  and 
then  retiring  to  England,  made  an  accusatory  relation  of  the 
whole  matter  to  the  king,  wishing  to  have  Gruffydh  released 
from  prison  before  the  rumour  of  an  act  so  heinous  should 
reach  the  court  of  Rome,  and  thus  reflect  upon  his  Majesty's 
reputation.  The  King  thereupon  sent  to  his  nephew  Prince 
David,  blaming  him  highly  for  such  a  treacherous  action, 
and  for  dealing  so  severely  with  his  brother,  and  then 
earnestly  requested  him  to  deliver  Gruffydh  out  of  custody, 
both  to  save  himself  from  perpetual  condemnation,  and  that 
he  might  obtain  absolution  from  the  severe  sentence  that 
had  been  pronounced  against  him :  but  David  absolutely 
refused  to  comply  with  the  king's  desire,  assuring  him  that 
Wales  would  never  enjoy  peace  as  long  as  his  brother 
Gruffydh  had  his  liberty. 

Gruffydh  being  acquainted  with  his  brother's  resolution, 
and  thinking  that  thereby  he  had  unquestionably  displeased 
the  king  of  England,  privately  sent  to  King  Henry,  assuring 
him,  that  if  by  force  he  would  deliver  him  out  of  prison,  he 
would  not  only  hold  his  lands  for  ever  from  him,  but  also 
pay  him  the  yearly  acknowledgment  of  three  hundred  marks; 
offering  both  to  give  his  corporal  oath,  and  deliver  up  suf- 
ficient pledges,  for  the  performance  of  it;  and  withal 
offering  to  assist  the  king  with  all  his  power  in  bringing  in 
the  rest  of  the  Welsh  to  his  subjection.  Gruffydh  ap 
Madawc,  Lord  of  Bromfield,  also  positively  assured  the 
king,  that  in  case  he  would  lead  an  army  into  Wales,  to 
revenge  the  treachery  and  injurious  practices  of  David,  he 
would  give  him  all  possible  aid  and  assistance.  King 
Henry,  besides  this  solemn  invitation,  had  no  slight  pre- 
tence for  coming  to  Wales ;  for  Richard  bishop  of  Bangor, 
an  impetuous  man,  had  prosecuted  the  matter  so  warmly  at 
Rome,  that  the  Pope  also  excommunicated  David,  which 
excommunication  being  denounced  against  hirn,  his  lands 



were  nominally  forfeited.     The  king  being  chiefly  allured 
by  the  promises  of  the  Welsh  in  the  behalf  of  Gruffydh, 
levied  a  very  formidable  army  to  lead  to  Wales ;  strictly 
commanding,  by  proclamation,  all  the  English  who  owed 
him  any  martial  service  to  repair  armed  to  Gloucester  by 
the  beginning  of  autumn.     This  rendezvous  being  accord- 
ingly performed,  the  king  came  thither  in  person  at  the 
time  appointed,  and  having  regulated  his  troops,  and  put 
all  matters  in  convenient  order,  he  marched  to  Shrewsbury, 
where  he  remained  fifteen   days    to    refresh    his    army.* 
During  his  stay  there  several  of  the  nobility  became  suitors 
unto  him  on   behalf  of  Gruffydh,   whose  condition   they 
desired  he  would  commiserate ;  among  whom  were,  Ralph 
Lord  Mortimer,  of  Wigmore;  Walter  Clifford;  Roger  de 
Monte  Alto,  Steward  of  Chester ;    Maelgon  ap  Maelgon ; 
Meredith   ap   Rotpert,   Lord  of  Cydewen;    Gruffydh   ap 
Madawc,  of  Bromfield ;  Howel  and  Meredith,  the  sons  of 
Conan  ap  Owen  Gwynedh;  and  Gruffydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn, 
Lord  of  Powys.f     These  noblemen  prevailed  so  far  with 
King  Henry,  that  a  league  was  concluded  between  him  and 
SenenaJ  the  wife  of  Gruffydh,  and  for  the  performance  of 
the  articles  thereof,  the  aforesaid  noblemen  offered  to  be 
securities,  and  bound  themselves  by  their  several  writings. 
As  if  all  things  had  now  conspired  together  against  Prince 
David,  several  persons  that  had  been  at  continual  variance 
and  enmity  among  themselves  to  this  time,  were  now,  by 
reason  that  they  equally  favoured  Gruffydh's  cause,  made 
friends :  thus,  Morgan  ap  Howel,  lord  of  Cery,  made  his 
reconciliation  with  Sir  Ralph  Mortimer,  and  his  submission 
to  King  Henry,  in  a  very  solemn  manner.      In  the  same 
form  several  others  of  the  nobility  submitted  to  the  king ; 
as,  Owen  ap  Howel,  Maelgon  ap  Maelgon,  Meredith   ap 
Meredith,  Howel  ap  Cadwalhon,  and  Cadwalhon  ap  Howel. 
David  finding  himself  thus  relinquished  by  the  greatest 
part  of   his   nobility,    and  particularly    by   Gruffydh    ap 
Madawc,  lord  of  Bromfield,   whom  he  chiefly  feared,  by 
reason  of  his  great  wisdom  and  power,  and   that  he  was 
much  esteemed  by  the  king  of  England,  could  not  easily 
determine  how  to  conduct  himself  in   this  perplexity  of 
affairs :    but  in  the  end,  considering  with  himself  what  a 
powerful  army  King  Henry  brought  against  him,  and  how 
much  he  himself  was  weakened  by  the  defection  of  his  sub- 
jects, he  thought  it  most  advisable  to  bow  to  the  king,  and 
therefore  with  all  speed  sent  him  his  submission. § 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  506.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  301.  J  Sina. 

§  The  approaches  into  Wales  this  summer  had  been  rendered  very  easy  by  a  long 
drought,  which  having  continued  four  months,  had  dried  up  the  marshes. 


Prince  David  having  given  a  plenary  submission  to  the 
king,  desired,  that  being  his  nephew,  and  the  lawful  heir 
and  successor   of  his  father  Prince  Lhewelyn,  he  should 
enjoy  the  principality  of  Wales,  rather  than  GrufFydh,  who 
was  illegitimate,  and  in.  no  wise  related  to  the  king ;    as- 
suring him  further,  that  the  war  would  never  be  at  an  end, 
if  he  was  set  at  liberty.     King  Henry  knowing  well  the 
truth  of  all  this,  and  withal  being  assured  that  GrufFydh 
was  not  only  valiant  himself,  but  had  likewise  very  powerful 
abettors  and  promoters  of  his  cause,  was  very  much  inclined 
to   assent   to  David's  request,  and  to  prevent  any  farther 
troubles,  willingly  granted  it.     Therefore  David,  in  a  while 
after,  sent  his  brother  GrufFydh  to  the  king,  together  with 
the  pledges  promised  for  the  performance  of  the  articles 
lately  agreed  upon  ;    wiio  were  all  sent   to   the  Tower  of  A.  D.  1241. 
London    to  be   kept  in   safe  custody  ;*    GrufFydh  being 
allowed  a  noble  a-day  to  provide  himself  with  necessaries. f 
Shortly  afterwards,  David  came  himself  to  London,  and 
after  he  had  done  his  homage,  and  sworn  fealty  to  the  King 
of    England,    returned  to  Wales,    being  honourably  and 
peaceably  dismissed.      As    soon   as   GrufFydh  discovered 
King  Henry's  intention,  and  that  it  was  the  least  part  of  his 
design  to  set  him  at  liberty,  having  flatly  denied  the  Bishop 
of  Bangor  his  request  therein,  he  began  to  devise  means 
whereby  he  might  make  his  escape  out  of  the  Tower ;  and, 
having  one  night  deceived  his  keepers,  he  let  himself  down 
from  the  top  of  the  building,  by  a  line  which  he  had  com- 
posed out  of  the  sheets  and  hangings  of  his  room ;  but  they 
being  too  weak  to  bear  his  weight,   (as  he  was  a  heavy 
corpulent  person,)  let  him  down  headlong  to  the  ground,  by 
the  greatness  of  which  fall  he  was  crushed  to  pieces,  and 
expired  immediately.^:     King  Henry  being  informed  of  this 
unhappy  accident,  severely  punished  the  officers  for  their 
inexcusable  neglect,  and   ordered  that  his  son,   who  was 
kept  prisoner  with  him  in  the  Tower,  should  be  more  closely 

After  this  King  Henry  fortified  the  castle  of  Dyserth,  in 
Flintshire ;  and  for  their  past  service,  or  rather  to  oblige 
them  to  the  like  thereafter,  granted  to  GrufFydh  ap  Gwen- 
wynwyn  all  his  estate  in  Powys,  and  to  the  sons  of  Conan 


*  They  were  sent  in  the  custody  of  Sir  John  Lexington,  with  orders  that  the  prince 
and  his  son  Owen  should  be  confined  in  the  Tower. — Matthew  Paris,  p.  306. — Welsh 
Chron.  p.  307. 

t  Matthew  Paris,  p.  545.— Hollinshead,  p.  228. 

I  Matthew  Paris,  p.  545. — Stowe's  Chron.  p.  186.— His  son  Owen,  and  Sina  his  wife, 
who  had  shared  in  his  tedious  captivity,  were  the  witnesses  of  this  melancholy  spectacle. 
— Ibid. — Matthew  Paris  says,  that  he  fell  with  such  violence  that  his  head  and  neck  were 
nearly  driven  into  his  body. 


ap  Owen  Gwynedh  their  lands  in  Merioneth.*  The  next 
A.  D.  1242.  year  Maelgon  Fychan  fortified  the  castle  of  Garth gru°:yn, 
John  de  Mynoc  the  castle  of  Buelht,  and  Roger  Mortimer 
that  of  Melyenyth :  but  all  these  preparations  were  of  no 
avail ;  for  early  in  the  following  year,  King  Henry  came 
with  an  army  into  Wales,  and  began  to  molest  the  Welsh, 
and  without  any  just  pretence  forcibly  to  seize  upon  their 
lands  and  estates.  Indeed,  after  the  death  of  Gruffydh,  he 
was  much  inclined  no  longer  to  keep  his  promise  to  David, 
and  therefore  intended  to  grant  his  eldest  son  Edward  the 
principality  of  Wales,  whom  he  thought  to  oblige  the 
Welsh  to  obey.  Prince  David,  understanding  his  design, 
levied  all  his  power  for  the  defence  of  his  just  right ;  yet 
finding  himself  unable  to  withstand  the  army  of  the  English, 
purposed  to  effect  that  by  policy  which  he  could  not  attain 
by  force.  He  sent  therefore  to  the  Pope,  complaining  that 
King  Henry  of  England  compelled  him  unjustly  to  hold  his 
lands  of  him,  and  that,  without  any  legal  pretence,  he  seized 
the  estates  of  the  Welsh  at  his  pleasure ;  telling  him  further 
that  Prince  Lhewelyn  his  father  had  left  him  and  the 
principality  of  Wales  to  the  protection  of  the  see  of  Rome,f 
to  which  he  was  willing  to  pay  the  yearly  sum  of  five 
hundred  marks,J  obliging  himself  and  his  successors  by 
oath  for  the  due  performance  of  this  payment.  The  Pope 
(as  may  be  supposed)  gladly  accepted  the  offer,  and  there- 
upon gave  commission  to  the  two  Abbots  of  Aberconwey 
and  Cymer,  to  absolve  David  from  his  oath  of  allegiance  to 
the  King  of  England,  and  having  enquired  into  the  whole 
state  of  the  quarrel,  to  transmit  an  account  of  it  to  him. 
The  abbots,  according  to  this  their  commission,  directed  a 
very  positive  mandate  to  the  King  of  England,  who,  ad- 
miring the  strange  presumption  and  confidence  of  these 
abbots,  or  more  the  insatiable  avarice  and  greediness  of  the 
Pope,  sent  also  to  Rome,  and  with  a  greater  sum  of  money, 
easily  adjusted  all  matters,  his  Holiness  being  very  desirous 
to  make  the  most  of  both  parties. 

Prince  David,  finding  that  the  Pope  minded  his  own 
gain,  more  than  to  justify  his  complaints  against  the  King  of 
England,  thought  it  to  no  purpose  to  rely  upon  his  faith, 
but  deemed  it  more  advisable  to  vindicate  himself  by  force 
of  arms.  Having  therefore  gathered  his  forces  together, 
(being  now  reconciled  to  and  followed  by  all  the  nobility  of 
Wales,  excepting  Gruflfydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn  and  Morgan 
ap  Howel,  who  also  shortly  after  submitted  to  him,)  he 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  308.        f  Matthew  Paris,  p.  552. 
f  Matthew  Wcstm.  p.  139.— Matthew  Paris,  pp.  550,  573.— Brady,  p.  592. 


drew  up  his  army  to  the  marches,  intending  to  be  revenged 
upon  the  Earls  of  Clare  and  Hereford,  John  de  Monmouth, 
Roger  de  Monte  Alto,  and  others,  who  injured  and 
oppressed  his  people ;  with  whom  he  fought  divers  times, 
and  with  various  success :  but  in  the  Lent-time  next  year,  A.  D.  1245. 
the  Marchers  and  the  Welsh  met  near  Montgomery,  between 
whom  was  fought  a  very  severe  battle ;  the  governor  of  that 
castle  being  general  of  the  English,  and  having  cunningly 
placed  a  body  of  men  in  ambuscade,  pretended,  after  some 
short  engagement,  to  flee,  whom  the  Welsh  daringly  pursu- 
ed, not  thinking  of  any  treachery  :  as  soon,  however,  as  they 
were  past  the  ambush,  up  rose  an  unexpected  party,  who, 
falling  upon  the  rear  of  the  Welsh,  put  them  in  very  great 
disorder,  and  killed  about  three  hundred  men,*  though  not 
without  a  considerable  loss  on  their  own  side ;  and  among 
the  slain  was  a  valiant  knight  called  Hubert  Fitz-Matthew.f 
King  Henry  being  weary  of  these  perpetual  skirmishes  and 
daily  bickerings  between  the  English  and  Welsh,  thought 
to  put  an  end  to  the  whole  at  one  stroke ;  and  therefore 
raised  a  great  army  of  English  and  Gascoigns,  and  entered 
North  Wales,  purposing  to  waste  and  destroy  the  country : 
but  before  he  had  advanced  very  far,  Prince  David  inter- 
cepted him  in  a  narrow  pass,  and  so  violently  attacked  his 
forces,  that  a  great  number  of  his  nobility  and  bravest 
soldiers,  and  nearly  all  the  Gascoigns,  were  slain.  The 
king,  finding  he  could  effect  nothing  against  the  Welsh, 
invited  over  the  Irish,  who,  landing  in  Anglesey,  began  to 
pillage  and  waste  the  country ;  but  the  inhabitants  gather- 
ing themselves  together  in  a  body,  quickly  forced  them  to 
their  ships :  after  which,  King  Henry  having  victualled  and 
manned  all  his  castles,  returned  dissatisfied  to  England. 

Concerning  this  expedition  to  Wales,  and  the  continuance 
of  the  English  army  therein,  a  certain  person  in  the  camp 
wrote  to  this  effect  to  his  friends  in  England  :f  (  The  king 
(  with  his  army  is  encamped  at  Gannock,  and  is  busy  in 
'  fortifying  that  place,  sufficiently  strong  already,  about 
f  which  we  lay  in  our  tents,  in  watching,  fasting,  praying, 
'  and  freezing.  We  watch  for  fear  of  the  Welsh,  who  were 
f  used  to  come  suddenly  upon  us  in  the  night-time :  we  fast 
'  for  want  of  provision,  the  halfpenny  loaf  being  now  risen 
*  and  advanced  to  five  pence:  we  pray  that  we  may  speedily 
'  return  safe  and  scot-free  home :  and  we  freeze  for  want  of 
'  winter  garments,  having  but  a  thin  linen  shirt  to  keep  us 
'  from  the  wind.  There  is  a  small  arm  of  the  sea  under 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  575. 

t  He  was  killed  by  a  large  stone  rolled  from  the  mountains. 
J  Matthew  Paris,  p.  508. 


(  the  castle  where  we  lie,  which  the  tide  reaches,  by  the 
6  conveniency  of  which  many  ships  bring  us  provision  and 
(  victuals  from  Ireland  and  Chester :  this  arm  lies  betwixt 
f  us  and  Snowdon,  where  the  Welsh  are  encamped,  and  is 
'  in  breadth,  when  the  tide  is  in,  about  a  bow-shot.  Now 
'  it  happened,  that  upon  the  Monday  before  Michaelmas- 

<  day,  an  Irish  vessel  came  up  to  the  mouth  of  the  haven 
'  with  provision  to  be  sold  to  our  camp,  which  being  negli- 
6  gently  looked  to  by  the  mariners,  was  upon  the  low  ebb 
'  stranded  on  the  other  side  of  the  castle,  near  the  Welsh. 
6  The  enemy  perceiving  this,  descended  from  the  mountains 

<  and  laid  siege  to  the  ship,  which  was  fast  upon  the  dry 
(  sands ;    whereupon  we  detached  in  boats  three  hundred 
6  Welsh  of  the  borders  of  Cheshire  and  Shropshire,  with 
(  some  archers  and  armed  men,  to  rescue  the  ship  :  but  the 
'  Welsh,  upon  the  approach  of  our  men,  withdrew  them- 
f  selves  to  their  usual  retirements  in  the  rocks  and  woods, 
6  and  were  pursued  for  about  two  miles  by  our  men  afoot, 
e  who  slew  a  great  number  of  them  :   but  in  their  return 
*  back,  our   soldiers   being  too    covetous    and    greedy   of 
(  plunder,   among   other  sacrilegious  and  profane  actions, 
(  spoiled  the  abbey  of  Aberconwey,  and  burnt  all  the  books 
(  and  other  choice  utensils  belonging  to  it.     The  Welsh 
f  being  distracted  at  these  irreligious  practices,  got  together 
( in  great  number,  and  in  a  desperate  manner  setting  upon 
( the  English,  killing  a  great  number  of  them,  and  following 
6  the  rest  to  the  water-side,  forced  as  many  as  could  not 
(  make  their  escape  into  the  boats,  to  commit  themselves  to 
'  the  mercy  of  the  waves.     Those  they  took  prisoners  they 
'  thought  to  reserve  for  exchange ;  but  hearing  how  we  put 
f  some  of  their  captive  nobility  to  death,  they  altered  their 
6  minds,  and  in  a  revengeful  manner  scattered  their  dila- 
f  cerated  carcases  along  the  surface  of  the  water.     In  this 
'  conflict  we  lost  a  considerable  number  of  our  men,  and 
(  chiefly  those  under  the  command  of  Richard  Earl  of  Corn- 
6  wal;  as  Sir  Alan  Buscell,  Sir  Adam  de  Maio,  Sir  Geflfry 
'  Estuemy,  and  one  Raimond   a  Gascoign,  with   about  a 
'  hundred  common  soldiers.     In  the  mean  time,  Sir  Walter 
'  Bisset  stoutly  defended  the  ship  till  midnight,  when  the 
6  tide  returned ;  whereupon  the  Welsh,  who  assailed  us  on 
(  all  sides,  were  forced  to  withdraw,  being  much  concerned 
e  that  we  had  so  happily  escaped  their  hands.     The  cargo 
f  of  this  ship  was  three  hundred  hogsheads  of  wine,  with 
(  plenty  of  other  provisions  for  the  army,  which  at  that  time 
'  it  stood  in  very  great  need  of.     The  next  morning,  how- 
'  ever,  when  the  sea  was  returned,  the  Welsh  came  merrily 

'  down 


(  down  again  to  the  ship,  thinking  to  surprise  our  men ;  but 
6  as  luck  would  have  it,  they  had  at  full  sea  the  night  before 
'  relinquished  the  ship,  and  returned  safe  to  the  camp. 
c  The  enemy  missing  our  men,  set  upon  the  cargo  of  the 
'  ship,  and  carried  away  all  the  wine  and  other  provisions; 
'  and  then,  when  the  sea  began  to  flow,  they  put  fire  to  the 
'  vessel  and  returned  to  the  rest  of  the  army.  And  thus  we 
'  lay  encamped  in  great  misery  and  distress  for  want  of 
(  necessaries,  exposed  to  great  and  frequent  dangers,  and  in 
'  great  fear  of  the  private  assaults  and  sudden  incursions  of 
'  our  enemies.  Oftentimes  we  set  upon  and  assailed  the 

*  Welsh,  and  in  one  conflict  we  carried  away   a  hundred 

*  head  of  cattle,  which  very  triumphantly  we  conveyed  to 
(  our  camp :  for  the  scarcity  of  provisions  was  then  so  great, 
(  that  there  remained  but  one  hogshead  of  wine  in  the  whole 
(  army ;  a  bushel  of  corn  being  sold  for  twenty  shillings,  a 
'  fed  ox  for  three  or  four  marks,  and  a  hen  for  eight  pence  ; 
'  so  that  there  happened  a  very  lamentable  mortality  both  of 
'  man  and  horse,  for  want  of  necessary  sustenance.'* 

The  English  army  having  undergone  such  miseries  as  are 
here  described,  and  King  Henry,  as  is  said,  perceiving  it 
was  in  vain  for  him  to  continue  any  longer  in  Wales,  where 
he  was  sure  to  gain  no  great  credit,  he  returned  with  his 
army  into  England,  being  not  very  desirous  to  make  another 
expedition  into  Wales.  Then  all  the  nobility  and  barons  of 
Wales,  and  those  that  had  favoured  and  maintained  Gruf- 
fydh's  cause,  were  made  friends  and  reconciled  to  Prince 
David,  to  whom  they  vowed  true  and  perpetual  allegiance  :f 
but  the  Prince  did  not  long  survive  this  amity  and  agree- 
ment made  between  him  and  his  subjects,  for  falling  sick 
toward  the  beginning  of  this  year,  he  died  in  March,  at  his  A.  D,  124(5, 
palace  in  Aber,  and  was  buried  at  Conway,  leaving  no  issue 
to  succeed.:J:  The  only  thing  unpardonable  in  this  prince, 
was  his  over-jealousy  and  severity  against  his  brother 
GrufFydh,  a  person  so  well  beloved  of  the  Welsh,  that  upon 
his  account  their  affection  was  much  cooled,  and  in  some 
entirely  alienated  from  their  prince.  Thus  much,  however, 
may  be  said  for  David,  that  GrufFydh  was  a  valorous  and  an 
aspiring  man,  and  if  set  at  liberty,  would  probably  have 


*  Perhaps  a  reservation  was  made  for  a  due  supply  of  provisions  for  the  castle  of 
Gannock  (a  name  given  by  the  English  to  the  castle  of  Diganwy),  which,  it  appears,  was 
.completely  furnished  with  every  necessary  on  the  king's  departure.  In  one  of  these 
conflicts,  the  English  having  the  advantage,  they  brought  in  triumph  to  their  camp  the 
heads  of  nearly  one  hundred  Welshmen.— Matthew  Paris,  p.  598. 

f  During  these  transactions,  David  the  Prince,  being  sick  and  oppressed  with  cares, 
frequently  retired  io  his  camp  at  Tintaiol,  to  refresh  himself,  and  recover  from  the 
fatigues  of  war.— Matthew  Paris,  p.  599. 

%  Matthew  Paris,  pp.  608,  610. 


ejected  him  out  of  his  principality  ;  which  King  Henry  of 
England  too  (who  thought  he  might  bring  over  David,  a 
milder  man,  to  what  terms  he  pleased,)  was  sensible  of 
when  he  would  by  no  persuasion  dismiss  him  from  custody 
in  the  Tower  of  London.  This  occasioned  all  the  disturb- 
ances that  happened  in  his  time,  the  Welsh  themselves,  for 
the  love  they  bore  to  Gruffydh,  inviting  the  King  of 
England  to  come  to  invade  their  country,  and  to  correct  the 
unnatural  enmity  their  prince  expressed  to  his  brother :  but 
when  all  differences  were  over,  the  King  of  England  being 
returned  with  his  army  in  disgrace,  and  the  prince  and  his 
nobility  reconciled,  the  Welsh  might  have  expected  a  very 
happy  time  of  it,  had  not  death  taken  the  Prince  away, 
before  he  had  well  known  what  a  peaceful  reign  was.* 


JL  RINCE  David  being  dead,  the  principality  of  North 
Wales  legally  descended  to  Sir  Ralph  Mortimer,  in  right  of 
his  wife  Gladys,  daughter  to  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth :  but 
the  Welsh  nobility  being  assembled  together  for  the  elect- 
ing and  nominating  a  successor,  thought  it  by  no  means 
advisable  to  admit  a  stranger  to  the  crown,  though  his  title 
was  ever  so  lawful;  and  especially  an  Englishman,  by 
whose  obligations  to  the  crown  of  England,  they  must  of 
necessity  expect  to  become  subjects,  or  rather  slaves  to  the 
English  government.  Wherefore  they  unanimously  agreed 
to  set  up  Lhewelyn  and  Owen  Goch,  the  sons  of  Gruffydh, 
a  base  son  of  Lhewelyn  ap  lorwerth,  and  brother  to  Prince 
David  ;f  who  being  sent  for,  and  appearing  before  the 
assembly,  all  the  nobles  and  barons  then  present,  did  them 
homage,  and  received  them  for  their  sovereigns :  but  as  soon 
as  the  King  of  England  heard  of  the  death  of  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  he  thought,  the  country  being  in  an  unsettled  and 
wavering  condition,  he  might  effect  great  matters  there; 
and,  therefore,  he  sent  one  Nicholas  de  Miles  to  South 
Wales,  with  the  title  of  Justice  of  that  country,  with  whom 
he  joined  in  commission  Meredith  ap  Rhys  Gryc,  and 


*  We  have  now  seen  the  Welsh  nation  subject  to  the  most  distant  extremes  of  fortune. 
Their  annals,  in  rapid  succession,  are  marked  with  striking  vicissitudes.  Influenced  by 
sudden,  and  often  by  hidden  springs,  we  have  seen  them,  by  uniting  their  strength,  and 
exciting  its  force,  rising  up  to  the  height  of  prosperity  ;  and  then,  from  causes  which 
were  equally  capricious,  falling  in  a  moment  into  disunion  and  vassalage. 

f  These  young  princes  were  the  sons  of  GrufFydh  ap  Llewelyn,  who  some  years  before 
had  been  killed  by  attempting  to  escape  out  of  the  Tower  of  London. — Welsh  Chron. 
p.  314. 


Meredith  ap  Owen  ap  Gruflfydh,  to  eject  and  disinherit 
Maelgon  Fychan  of  all  his  lands  and  estate  in  South  Wales, 
The  like  injurious  practices  were  committed  against  Howel 
ap  Meredith,  who  was  forcibly  robbed  of  all  his  estate  in 
Glamorgan  by  the  Earl  of  Clare.  These  unreasonable  ex-^ 
tortions  being  insupportable,  Maelgon  and  Howel  made 
known  their  grievances  to  the  Princes  of  North  Wales,  de- 
siring their  succour  and  assistance  for  the  recovery  of  their 
lawful  inheritance  from  the  encroachments  of  the  English : 
but  the  King  of  England,  understanding  their  design,  led 
his  army  into  Wales ;  upon  whose  arrival,  the  Welsh  with- 
drew themselves  to  Snowdon  hills,  where  they  so  wearied 
theEnglish  army,  that  the  king,  finding  he  could  do  no  good> 
after  some  stay  there,  returned  to  England.  Within  a  while 
after,  Ralph  Mortimer,  the  husband  of  Gladys  Dhu,  died ; 
leaving  his  whole  estate,  and  with  it  a  lawful  title  to  the 
principality  of  North  Wales,  to  his  son  Sir  Roger  Mortimer.* 

The  next  year  nothing  memorable  passed  between  the  A.  D.  1247 . 
English  and  the  Welsh,  only  the  dismal  effects  of  the  last 
year's  expedition  were  not  worn  off;  the  ground  being  in- 
capable of  cultivation,  and  the  cattle  being  in  great  measure 
destroyed  by  the  English,  occasioned  great  poverty  and 
want  in  the  country  :f  but  the  greatest  calamity  befel  the 
bishops  ;  St.  Asaph  and  Bangor  being  destroyed  and  burnt 
by  the  English,  the  bishops  thereof  were  reduced  to  such  an 
extremity,  as  to  get  their  subsistence  by  other  men's  charity ; 
the  bishop  of  St.  David's  at  this  time  died,  and  the  bishop 
of  Llandaft"  had  the  misfortune  to  become  blind.  In  the 
bishoprick  of  St.  David's  succeeded  Thomas^  surnamed 
Wallensis,  by  reason  that  he  was  born  in  Wales,  who  think-  , 
ing  it  incumbent  upon  him  to  benefit  his  own  country  as  far 
as  lay  in  his  power,  desired  to  be  advanced  from  the  arch- 
deaconry of  Lincoln  to  that  see:  which  the  king  easily 
granted,  and  confirmed  him  in  it.  The  next  summer  proved  1248. 
somewhat  more  favourable  to  the  Welsh ;  Rhys  Fychan, 
son  of  Rhys  Mechyl,  won  from  the  English  the  castle  of 
Carrec-Cynnen,  which  his  unkind  mother,  out  of  malice,  or 
some  ill  opinion  entertained  of  him,  had  some  time  before 
privately  delivered  up  to  them  j  and  about  the  same  time 


*  Oppressed  by  the  hated  laws  of  England,  the  Welsh  at  this  period  had  neither 
opportunity  nor  spirit  to  carry  on  commerce,  nor  to  cultivate  their  land,  and  in  conse- 
quence were  perishing  by  famine.  They  were  likewise  deprived  of  the  usual  pasturage 
for  their  cattle  ;  and  to  recite  the  words  of  an  old  writer,  expressive  of  their  bondage, 
"  the  harp  of  the  churchman  is  changed  info  sorrow  and  lamentations  :  the  glory  of 
their  proud  and  ancient  nobility  is  faded  away" 

f  Matthew  Paris,  p.  739. 


the  body  of  Gruffydh  ap  Lhewelyn,  base  son  of  Lhewelyn 
ap  lorwerth,  was  recovered  from  the  King  of  England,  by 
the  earnest  solicitations  of  the  abbots  of  Conway  and  Ystrat- 
flur ;  who,  conveying  it  to  Conway,  bestowed  upon  it  a  very 
pompous  and  honourable  interment.* 

A.D.  1255.      After  this,  the  affairs  of  the  Welsh  proceeded  peaceably 
for  a  considerable   time,   and   the  country  had  .sufficient 
opportunity  to  recover  its  former  state   of   plenty ;    but 
eventually,  fulfilling  the  proverb  that  plenty  begets  war ; 
they  began,  for  want  of  a  foreign  enemy,  to  quarrel  among 
themselves.     Owen  was  too  arrogant  and  ambitious  to  be 
satisfied  with   half  the  principality,   and  therefore  would 
endeavour  to  obtain  the  whole ;  wherein  fortune  so  far  de- 
ceived him,  that  he  lost  his  own  portion  of  it,  as  will  after- 
wards appear.     The  better  to  encompass  his  design,  he,  by 
artful  insinuations,  persuaded  David  his  younger  brother  to 
espouse  his  cause ;  and  they  with  joint  interest  levied  to  the 
extent  of  their  power,  with  intention  to  dethrone  their  elder 
brother  Lhewelyn ;   but  that  was  not  an  easy  matter ;  for 
Lhewelyn  was  prepared  to  receive  them,  and  with  a  power- 
ful army  met  them  in  the  field,  with  a  determination  to 
venture  all  upon  the  fortune  of  a  battle.     It  was  strange  and 
grievous  to  behold  this  unnatural  civil  war ;  and  the  more 
grievous  now,  because  it  so  manifestly  lessened  the  power  of 
the  Welsh  to  withstand  the  incursions  of  the  English,  who 
were  much  pleased  with  so  favourable  an  opportunity  to 
attack  them ;  but  they  were  too  far  engaged  to  consider  of 
future  inconveniencies,  and  a  trial  of  war  they  would  have, 
though  the  English  were  ready  to  fall  upon*  both  armies. 
The  battle  commenced  with  much  slaughter  on  both  sides, 
and  which  was  likely  to  conquer  was  not  immediately  dis- 
covered ;  but  at  length  Owen  began  to  give  way,  and  in  the 
end  was  overthrown,  himself  and  his  brother  David  being 
taken   prisoners.!      Lhewelyn,    though    he   had   sufficient 
reason,  would  not  put  his  brothers  to  death ;  but,  commit- 
ting them  into  close  prison,  seized  all  their  estates  into  his 
own  hands,  and  so  enjoyed  the  whole  principality  of  Wales. 
The  English,  seeing  the  Welsh  were  thus  oppressing  and 
destroying  one  another,  thought  they  had  full  license  to  deal 
with  them  as  they  pleased ;  and  thereupon  began  to  exercise 
every  description  of  wrong  and  injustice  against  them ;  inso- 
1256.  much  that  the  next  year,  all  the  lords  of  Wales  came  in  a 
body  to  Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  declared  their  grievances, 
how  unmercifully  Prince  Edward  (whom  his  father  had  sent 


*  Rymer,  p.  443.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  319. 
t  Welsh  Chron.  p.  319.— Annales  Burton,  p.  386. 


to  Wales)  and  others  of  the  nobility  of  England  dealt  with 
them,  for  without  any  colour  of  justice  they  seized  upon 
their  estates,  without  any  opportunity  for  appeal,  and  if 
they  in  person  offended  in  the  least,  they  were  punished  to 
the  utmost  extremity.  In  fine,  they  solemnly  declared  that 
they  preferred  to  die  honourably  in  the  field,  rather  than  be 
so  unmercifully  enslaved  to  the  will  artd  pleasure  of  strangers. 
Prince  Lhewelyn  was  riot  uninformed  as  to  all  this;  and 
now  having  clearly  discovered  the  intent  and  inclination  of 
his  subjects*  Was  resolved  to  effect,  if  possible,  the  expulsion 
of  the  English,  and  to  be  revenged  upon  them  for  their  most 
cruel  and  almost  inhuman  practices  towards  the  Welsh, 
Having  therefore  drawn  all  his  power  together,  being  ac- 
companied by  Meredith  ap  RhysGryc,  he  in  the  space  of  one 
week  recovered  out  of  the  hands  of  the  English  all  the  inland 
country  of  North  Wales,  and  then  all  Merionyth,  with  such 
lands  as  Prince  Edward  had  usurped  in  Cardigan,  which  he 
bestowed  upon  Meredith  the  son  of  Owen  ap  Gruftydh. 
Having  also  forced  Rhys  Fychan  out  of  Buelht,  he  conferred 
it  upon  Meredith  ap  Rhys ;  and  in  like  manner  distributed 
all  the  lands  which  he  recovered  among  his  nobles;  re- 
serving nothing  to  his  own  use,  excepting  Gwerthryneon3 
the  estate  of  Sir  Roger  Mortimer.*  The  next  summer  he  A.  D.  1257. 
entered  into  Powys^f  and  made  war  against  Gruffydh  ap 
Gwenwynwyn,  (who  always  had  taken  part  with  and  owned 
subjection  to  the  King  of  England,)  whom  he  completely 
overcame,  bringing  under  his  authority  all  his  country,  ex- 
cepting the  castle  of  Pool,  some  small  part  of  Caereineon^ 
and  the  country  lying  upon  the  banks  of  the  Severn. 

Rhys  Fychan  was  not  satisfied  with  the  loss  of  Buelht, 
and  therefore  was  resolved  to  try  to  recover  it;  to  which 
end,  he  went  to  the  King  of  England,  of  whom  he  obtained 
a  very  strong  army,  commanded  by  one  Stephen  Bacon, 
which  being  sent  by  sea,  landed  at  Caermardhyn  in  the 
Whitsun-week.  From  thence  the  English  marched  to 
Dynefawr,  and  laid  siege  to  the  castle,  which  was  valiantly 
defended  until  Lhewelyn's  army  came  to  their  relief  Upon 
the  arrival  of  the  Welsh,  the  English  withdrew  from  before 
the  castle,  and  put  themselves  in  a  position  of  battle,  which 
the  Welsh  perceiving,  they  made  all  haste  to  meet  and 
oppose  them :  whereupon  there  ensued  a  terrible  engage- 
ment, which  lasted  a  very  long  time ;  this  being,  for  number 
of  men,  the  greatest  battle  that  had  been  fought  between  the 
English  and  the  Welsh :  but  the  victory  favoured  the  Welsh, 

R  2 
*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  330.  f  Matthew  Paris,  p.  806. 


the  Englishmen  being  at  length  forced  to  fly,  having  lost 
above  two  thousand  men,  besides  several  barons  and  knights 
who  were  taken  prisoners.  After  this,  the  prince's  army 
passed  to  Dyfed,  where,  having  burnt  all  the  country,  and 
destroyed  the  castles  of  Abercorran,  Lhanstephan,  Maen- 
clochoc,  and  Arberth,  with  all  the  towns  thereunto  belong- 
ing, they  returned  to  North  Wales  with  much  spoil.*  As 
soon  as  he  was  arrived  in  North  Wales,  great  complaints 
were  exhibited  to  Prince  Lhewelyn  against  Geoffrey 
Langley,f  lieutenant  to  Edward  Earl  of  Chester,  who, 
without  any  regard  to  equity,  most  wrongfully  oppressed 
the  inhabitants  of  Wales  under  his  jurisdiction :  whereupon 
the  prince,  to  punish  the  master  for  the  servant's  fault, 
entered  with  some  part  of  his  army  into  the  earl's  estate, 
and  burnt  and  destroyed  all  his  country  on  both  sides  the 
river  Dee  to  the  gates  of  Chester.!  Edward  had  no  power 
at  the  time  to  oppose  him,  but  being  resolved  to  be  revenged 
upon  the  Welsh  the  first  opportunity,  he  desired  aid  of  his 
uncle,  then  chosen  King  of  the  Romans,  who  sent  him  a 
strong  detachment  of  troops,  with  which  he  purposed  to 
give  Prince  Lhewelyn  battle :  finding  him,  however,  too 
strong,  he  thought  it  more  adviseable  to  desist  from  hostility, 
the  prince's  army  consisting  of  ten  thousand  experienced 
men,  who  were  obliged  by  oath  rather  all  to  die  in  the  field 
than  to  suffer  the  English  to  gain  any  advantage  over  the 
Welsh :  but  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc  Maelor,  Lord  of  Dinas 
Bran,§  a  person  of  notorious  reputation  for  injustice  and 
oppression,  basely  forsook  the  Welsh  his  countrymen,  and 
with  all  his  forces  went  over  to  the  Earl  of  Chester. 
A.D.  1258.  The  next  year  Prince  Lhewelyn  passed  to  South  Wales, 
and  seized  into  his  hands  the  land  of  Cemaes,  and  having 
reconciled  the  difference  between  Rhys  Gryg  and  Rhys 
Fychan,  he  won  the  castle  of  Trefdraeth,  with  the  whole 
country  of  Rhos,  excepting  Haverford.  Then  he  marched 
in  an  hostile  manner  towards  Glamorgan,  and  rased  to  the 
ground  the  castle  of  Lhangymwch  ;  and  thence  returning  to 
North  Wales,  he  met  by  the  way  with  Edward  Earl  of 
Chester,  whom  he  forced  to  return  precipitately.  Before, 
however,  he  concluded  this  expedition,  he  would  be  revenged 
upon  that  ungrateful  fugitive  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc  Maelor, 
and  thereupon  passing  through  Bromfield,  he  laid  waste  the 


*  Welsh  Chron.  pp.  320,  322. 

t  Brady,  pp.  721,  722. — It  is  probable  he  succeeded  Alan  de  Zouch,  who  had  brought 
into  England  much  treasure  in  carts  out  of  Wales. 

J  Chron.  of  Thomas  Wyke,  p.  50.— Matthew  Paris,  pp.  805,  806, 810. 
§  Near  Llangollen,  in  Denbighshire.— Welsh  Chron.  p,  255, 


whole  country.*  Upon  this  the  Kings  of  England  and 
Scotland  sent  to  Lhewelyn,  requesting  him  to  cease  from 
hostility,  and  from  thus  unmercifully  wasting,  and  forcibly 
taking  away  other  men's  estates.  The  prince  was  not  over 
willing  to  hearken  to  their  request ;  on  the  contrary,  finding 
the  time  of  the  year  very  seasonable  for  action  against  the 
English,  he  divided  his  army  into  two  divisions,  each  of 
them  consisting  of  1500  foot  and  500  horse,  with  which  he 
purposed  to  enlarge  his  conquest.  Edward  Earl  of  Chester, 
to  prevent  the  blow  which  so  imminently  hung  over  his 
head,  sent  over  to  Ireland  for  succours  j  of  whose  coming 
Prince  Lhewelyn  being  certified,  he  manned  a  fleet  to 
intercept  them,  which  meeting  with  the  Irish  at  sea,  after  a 
smart  attack  forced  them  to  return  back  with  loss.  King 
Henry,  being  informed  of  the  miscarriage  of  the  Irish, 
resolved  to  come  in  person  against  the  Welsh,  and  having 
drawn  together  the  whole  strength  of  England,  from  St. 
Michael's  Mount  in  Cornwall  to  the  river  Tweed,  marched 
with  his  son  Edward  in  great  indignation  to  North  Wales, 
and  without  any  opposition  advanced  as  far  as  Diganwy  :f 
but  the  prince  had  obstructed  his  farther  progress  and  pre- 
vented him  making  any  long  stay  in  Wales,  by  previously 
causing  all  kinds  of  provision  and  forage  to  be  carried  over 
the  river,  and  then  securing  the  strait  and  narrow  passages 
whereby  the  English  might  have  got  farther  into  the  coun- 
try ;  in  consequence  of  which  the  army  was  in  a  short  time 
so  greatly  fatigued,  that  the  king  for  want  of  necessary 
subsistence  was  forced  to  retire  in  haste  to  England  with 
considerable  loss. 

The  prince,  after  that,  sending  for  all  the  forces  in  South 
Wales,  came  to  the  marches,  where  Gruffydh  Lord  of 
Bromfield,  finding  that  the  King  of  England  was  not  able  to 
defend  his  estate,  yielded  himself  up,J  and  then  passing  to 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  80.6.  f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  321. 

J  The  late  events  had  given  a  fortunate  turn  to  affairs.  The  present  prosperity  of  the 
Welsh,  the  spoils  they  had  taken  from  the  enemy,  the  general  confederacy  which  had  been 
lately  renewed,  and  the  return  of  Gruffydh  ap  Madoc  to  his  allegiance,  had  diffused 
through  every  bosom  the  hopes  of  better  days.  To  raise  these  hopes  into  pious  con- 
fidence, Lhewelyn  addressed  his  followers  in  this  consolatory  and  animating  language  :— 
"  Thus  far,"  said  he,  "  the  Lord  God  of  Hosts  hath  helped  'us  j  for  it  must  appear  to  all 
"  that  the  advantages  we  have  obtained  are  not  to  be  ascribed  to  our  own  strength,  but 
"  to  the  favour  of  God,  who  can  as  easily  save  by  few  as  by  many.  How  should  we,  a 
"  poor,  weak,  and  unwarlike  people,  compared  with  the  English,  dare  to  contend  with  so 
"  mighty  a  power,  if  God  did  not  patronise  our  cause  ?  His  eye  has  seen  our  affliction  ; 
"  not  only  those  injuries  we  have  suffered  from  Geoffrey  de  Langley,  but  those  also 
«  which  we  have  received  from  other  cruel  instruments  of  Henry,  and  of  Edward.  From 
"  this  moment  our  all  is  at  stake,  if  we  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy  we  are  to  expect  no 
"  mercy.  Let  us  then  stand  firm  to  each  other.  It  is  our  union  alone  which  can  render 
"  us  invincible.  You  see  in  what  manner  the  King  of  England  treats  his  own  subjects,  how 



Powys,  the  prince  banished  Gruflfydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn,  and 
took  all  the  lands  of  that  country  into  his  own  hands.  Pro- 
ceeding farther,  he  was  encountered  with  by  Gilbert  de 
Clare  Earl  of  Gloucester,  who  with  a  chosen  body  of 
English  forces  gave  him  battle  :  but  Lhewelyn's  army, 
exceeding  them  both  in  number  and  courage,  they  easily 
vanquished  and  overcame  the  English,  and  the  victory  being 
quickly  obtained,  the  prince  immediately  reduced  to  his 
power  all  the  castles  belonging  to  the  Earl  of  Gloucester. 
King  Henry,  hearing  of  the  Earl's  overthrow,  was  much 
concerned  at  the  loss  of  so  many  brave  soldiers,  in  whose 
valour  and  experience  he  had  always  put  great  confidence, 
and  therefore,  to  revenge  their  deaths,  he  again  resolved  to 
march  against  the  Welsh.  Having  called  his  forces 
together,  and  received  supplies  from  Gascoign  and  Ireland, 
he  came  to  Wales,  but  not  daring  to  venture  far  into  the 
country,  for  fear  of  being  forced  to  make  another  igno- 
minious retreat,  he  contented  himself  with  destroying  the 
corn  near  the  borders,  it  being  harvest  time,  and  so  returned 
to  England.  At  this  time,  however,  Lord  James  Audley, 
whose  daughter  was  married  to  Gruflfydh  Lord  of  Brom- 
field,  did  more  mischief  and  injury  to  the  Welsh ;  for, 
having  brought  over  a  great  number  of  horsemen  from 
Germany  to  serve  against  the  Welsh,  they  were  so  terrified 
by  the  unusual  large  size  of  the  horses,  and  the  unac- 
customed manner  of  fighting  used  by  the  Germans,  that  in  the 
first  encounter  the  Welsh  were  easily  overcome :  but,  intend- 
ing to  revenge  this  disgrace,  and  withal  being  better 
acquainted  with  their  method  of  arms,  the  Welsh  in  a 
short  time  after  made  inroads  into  the  Lord  Audley 's  lands, 
where  the  Germans  immediately  attacked  them,  and  pursued 
them  tq  certain  narrow  passages,  to  which  the  WTelsh 
designedly  made  their  retreat.  The  Germans,  thinking 
they  had  entirely  driven  the  Welsh  away,  returned  care- 
lessly back,  but  being  suddenly  attacked,  when  they  had  no 
thought  of  an  enemy  being  behind  them,  they  were  nearly 
all  slain  by  the  Welsh  that  had  thus  rallied.  This  year  a 
very  great  scarcity  of  oxen  and  horses  happened  in 
England,  whereof  several  thousands  yearly  were  supplied 


"  he  seizes  their  estates,  impoverishes  their  families,  and  alienates  their  minds.  Will  he 
"  then  spare  us,  after  all  the  provocations  we  have  given  him,  and  the  farther  acts  of 
"  hostility  and  revenge  which  we  meditate  against  him?  No  ;  it  is  evidently  his  intention 
"  to  blot  out  our  name  from  under  the  face  of  heaven.  Is  it  not  better  then  at  once  to 
"  die,  and  go  to  God,  than  to  live  for  a  time  at  the  capricious  will  of  another,  and  at  last 
"  to  suffer  some  ignominious  death  assigned  us  by  an  insulting  enemy  ?"  Animated  by 
this  oration,  the  Welsh  infested  the  English  borders  with  incessant  inroads ;  in  the  course 
of  their  ravages,  by  fire,  by  the  sword,  and  by  plunder,  they  rendered  the  frontier  a  scene 
of  desolation. 


out  of  Wales ;  in  consequence  of  which,  the  marches  were 
completely  despoiled  of  all  their  breed,  and  not  so  much  as 
a  beast  was  to  be  seen  in  all  the  borders. 

The  next   spring  all  the  nobility  of  Wales  assembled  A.  D.  1259. 
together  and  took  their  mutual  oaths  to  defend  their  coun- 
try even  to  death,  against  the  oppressive  invasions  of  the 
English,  and  not  to   relinquish  and  forsake   one   another 
under  the  penalties  of  perjury  :  but  Meredith  ap  Rhys  of 
South  Wales  violated  this  agreement,  and  put  himself  into 
the  service  of  the  King  of  England.     King  Henry  was  now 
prepared   to  attack  the  Welsh,  and  for  this  purpose  he 
summoned   a  parliament,  wherein  he  proposed  to  raise  a 
subsidy  towards  the  conquest  of  Wales,  being  not  able  of 
himself  to  bear  the  expenses  of  this  war,  in  consequence  of 
several  losses  he  had   already    received,    the  country    of 
Pembroke  being  lately  destroyed  and  taken  by  the  Welsh, 
where  they  found  plenty  of  salt,  of  which  article  they  were, 
at  that  time,  in  great  need.*     William  de  Valentia  accused 
the  Earls  of  Leicester  and  Gloucester  as  the  authors  of  the 
intended  war,  and  quite  broke  all  their  measures,  so  that  the 
king  was  forced  to   prorogue    the    parliament  for  a  time 
without  any  grant  of  a  subsidy  :  but  in  a  short  time  after,  it 
sat  at  Oxford,  where  King  Henry  and  Edward  his  son  took 
a  solemn  oath  to  observe  the  laws  and  statutes  of  the  realm, 
and  the  same  being  tendered  to  Guy  and  William,  the  king's 
brothers,  and  to  Henry,  son  to  the  King  of  Almain,  and  to 
Earl  Warren,  they  refused  to  take  it,  and  departed.     In 
this  parliament  the  lords  of  Wales  openly  offered  to  be  tried 
by  the  laws  for  any  offence  they  had  unjustly  committed 
against  the  king,  which  was  chiefly  opposed  by  Edward, 
who  caused  one  Patrick  de  Canton  (to  whom  the  lordship  of 
Cydwely  was  given,   in  case  he  could  win  and  keep  the 
same)  to  be  sent  to  Caermardhyn  as  lieutenant  for  the  king, 
with  whom  Meredith  ap  Rhys  was  joined  in  commission. 
Being  arrived  at  Caermardhyn,  Patrick  sent  to  the  prince, 
to  desire  him  to  appoint  commissioners  to  treat  with  hini 
concerning  a  peace,  which  he  consented  to,  and,  without  any 
suspicion  of  treachery,  sent  Meredith  ap  Owen  and  Rhys 
ap  Rhys  to  Emlyn,  to  conclude  the  same  if  possible:  but 
Patrick,  meaning  no  such  thing,  laid  an  ambuscade  for  the 
Welsh,  who  coming  unsuspectingly  forward,  were  by  the 
way  villainously  attacked  by  the  English,  and  a  great  many 
were  slain  ;  those'  that  happily  escaped,  however,  raised  an 
alarm  in  the  country,  and  immediately  gave  chase  to  Patrick 


*  In  consequence  of  their  brine  works   having   been   destroyed   by  King   Henry  .- 
Matthew  Paris,  p.  819. 


and  his  accomplices,  who  being  at  length  overtaken,  were 
almost  all  put  to  the  sword.  Prince  Lhewelyn  was,  not- 
withstanding, wholly  bent  upon  a  peace,  and  not  only 
desired  it,  but  was  willing  to  purchase  it  for  a  sum  of 
money,  for  which  purpose  he  offered  to  give  the  king  4000 
marks,  to  his  son  300,  and  200  to  the  queen,  which  the 
king  utterly  refused,  replying,  That  it  was  not  a  sufficient 
recompense  for  all  the  damages  he  had  suffered  by  the 
Welsh.  Matthew  of  Westminster  reports,  that  about 
Michaelmas  this  year,  the  Bishop  of  Bangor  was  com- 
missioned by  the  prince  and  nobility  of  Wales  to  treat  with 
the  King  of  England  about  a  peace,  and  to  offer  him  16,000 
pounds  for  the  same,  upon  these  conditions,  that,  according 
to  their  ancient  custom,  the  Welsh  should  have  all  causes 
tried  and  determined  at  Chester,  and  that  they  should 
freely  enjoy  the  laws  and  customs  of  their  own  country ;  but 
what  was  the  result  of  this  treaty,  my  author  does  not 

A.  D.  1260.  There  being  no  hope  of  a  peace,  Prince  Lhewelyn  early 
next  year  appeared  in  the  field,  and  passed  to  South  Wales, 
and  first  attacked  Sir  Roger  Mortimer,  who,  contrary  to  his 
oath,  supported  the  King  of  England  in  his  quarrel. 
Having  forcibly  dispossessed  him  of  all  Buelht,  and  with- 
out any  opposition  taken  the  castle,  where  was  found  a 

1261.  plentiful  magazine,  he  marched  through  all  South  Wales, 
confirming  his  conquest,  and  afterwards   returned  to  his 
palace  at  Aber,  between  Bangor  and  Conway.     The  year 

1262.  following,  Owen  ap  Meredith  Lord  of  Cydewen  died  :  but 

1263.  the  next  summer  was  somewhat  more  noted  for  action,  as  a 
party  of  Prince  Lhewelyn's  men  took  by  surprise  the  castle 
of   Melienyth,    belonging    to   Sir  Roger  Mortimer,    and 
having  put  the  other  part  of  the  garrison  to  the  sword,  they 
took  Howel  ap  Meyric,  the  governor,  with  his  wife  and 
children,  prisoners ;  and  after  that  the  castle  was  demolished 
by  the  prince's  order.     Sir  Roger  Mortimer,  hearing  of 
this,   with    a  great  body   of  lords  and  knights  came  to 
Melienyth,  where   Prince   Lhewelyn   met  him ;    but  Sir 
Roger,  not  daring  to  hazard  a  battle,  planted  himself  within 
the  ruins,  and  finding  his  force  could  be  of  no  avail,  desired 
leave  of  the  prince  to  retire  peaceably.     The  Prince,  upon 
the  account  of  relation  and  near  consanguinity  betwixt  them, 
and  withal  because  he  would  not  be  so  mean  spirited  as  to 
fall  upon  an  enemy  that  had  no  power  to  resist  him,  let  him 
safely  depart  with  his  forces,  and  then  passed  on  himself  to 
Brecknock,  at  the  request  of  the  people  of  that  country,  who 
swore  fidelity  unto  him,  after  which  he  returned  to  North 

Wales : 


Wales  :  and  now  being  confederate  with  the  barons  against 
King  Henry,  he  was  resolved  to  do  something  to  the  injury 
of  the  English ;  he  therefore  invaded  the  earldom  of 
Chester,  and  destroyed  the  castles  of  Diganwy  and 
Diserth  belonging  to  Edward,  who  came  thither,  but  was 
unable  to  prevent  the  Welsh  committing  the  injury  they 
intended.  The  next  year  John  Strange,  junior,  constable  of  A.  D.  1264. 
Montgomery,  with  a  great  number  of  marchers,  came  a  little 
before  Easter  by  night,  through  Ceri  to  Cydewen,  intending 
to  surprise  the  castle,  which  when  the  people  of  the  country 
understood,  they  gathered  together,  and  attacking  the  forces 
of  Strange,  slew  two  hundred  of  his  men,  but  he  himself 
with  a  few  of  his  troops  got  safely  back. 

Within  a  short  time  after,  the  marchers  and  the  Welsh 
met  again  near  a  place  called  Clun,  where  a  warm  engage- 
ment happened  between  them,  in  which  the  Welsh  were 
worsted,  and  had  a  great  number  of  their  men  slain.  After 
this,  nothing  remarkable  fell  out  for  a  considerable  time, 
unless  it  were,  that  David,  being  released  out  of  prison  by 
Prince  Lhewelyn  his  brother,  most  ungratefully  forsook  him, 
and  with  all  his  power  leagued  with  his  enemies  the 
English ;  also  Gruffydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn,  having  taken  the 
castle  of  Mold,  rased  it  to  the  ground.  During  this  com- 
paratively quiet  and  inactive  interval  in  Wales,  Meredith 
ap  Owen,  the  main  support  and  defender  of  South  Wales, 
died,  to  the  great  disadvantage  of  the  affairs  of  that  country: 
and  now  indeed,  the  Welsh  were  likely  to  be  made  sensible  1268. 
of  the  loss  of  so  considerable  a  person,  for  King  Henry 
resolved  once  more  to  lead  an  army  into  Wales,  and  to  try 
if  he  could  have  better  success  than  he  had  hitherto 
obtained  against  the  Welsh  :  but  when  he  was  prepared  to 
undertake  this  expedition,  Ottobonus,  Pope  Clement's 
legate  in  England,  interposed  and  procured  a  peace,  which 
was  concluded  upon  at  the  castle  of  Montgomery,*  wherein 
it  was  agreed,  that  Prince  Lhewelyn  should  give  the  king 
thirtyf  thousand  marks,  and  the  king  was  to  grant  the 
prince  a  charter,  from  thenceforth  to  receive  homage  and 
fealty  of  all  the  nobility  and  barons  of  Wales,  excepting 
one,  so  that  they  could  hold  their  lands  of  no  other  but 
himself,  and  from  thenceforward  he  was  to  be  lawfully  stiled 
Prince  of  Wales.  This  charter  being  ratified  and  confirmed, 
as  well  by  the  authority  of  the  pope,  as  by  the  king's  seal, 
Prince  Lhewelyn  desisted  from  any  farther  acts  of  hostility, 
and  punctually  observed  all  the  articles  of  agreement 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  327-  * 

t  Matthew  Paris,  p.  875,  says  £32,000.— Welsh  Chron.  p.  327. 


between  him  and  King  Henry,  so  that  no  outrage  between 
the  English  and  Welsh  occurred  during  the  remainder  of 
this  king's  reign.  Within  that  space,  died  Grono  ap 
Ednyfed  Fychan,  one  of  the  chief  lords  of  the  prince's 
council,  and  shortly  after  him  Gruffydh  Lord  of  Bromfield, 
who  lies  buried  at  Valle  Crucis.* 

A.  D.  1272.      The  death  of  King  Henry,  however,  put  an  end  to  the 
observation  of  the  peace  betwixt  the  English  and  Welsh,  for 
that  event  took  place  on  the  sixteenth  of  November  this  year, 
and  he  left  this  kingdom  to  his  son  Edward.      Prince  Ed- 
ward was  then  in  the  Holy  Land,  actively  engaged  against 
those  enemies  of  Christianity,  the  Turks,  where  he  had 
already  continued  above  a  year ;  but  being  informed  of  his 
father's  death,  and  that  in  his  absence  he  was  proclaimed 
King  of  England,  he  made  all  haste  to  return  to  undergo  the 
solemnity  of  coronation :  but  what  by  the  tediousness  of  the 
journey,  and  what  by  being  honourably  detained  at  princes' 
courts  in  his  way,  it  was  two  years  before  he  could  get  into 
England,  and  then  upon  the  fifteenth  of  August,  in  the  year 
1274,  he  was  crowned  at  Westminster.     Prince  Lhewelyn 
was  summoned   to  attend  at  his  coronation,  but  he  flatly 
refused  to  appear,f  unless  upon  sure  terms  of  safe  conduct ; 
for,  having  offended  several  of  the  English  nobility,  he 
could  not  in  safety  pass  through  their  country  without  the 
danger  of  exposing  his  person  to  the  inveterate  malice  and 
implacable  revenge  of  some  of  them :    and,  therefore,  unless 
the  king's  brother,  the  Earl   of  Gloucester,   and  Robert 
Burnell  Lord  Chief  Justice  of  England,:}:  were  delivered  up 
as  pledges  for  his  safe  conduct,  he  would  not  come  to  do  his 
homage  and  fealty  at  the  coronation,  according  to  the  writ 
directed  to  him.     Indeed,  seeing  that  King  Edward  had 
broken  the  peace  lately  concluded  upon  before  the  Pope's 
legate,  and  received  and  honourably  entertained  such  noble- 
men of  Wales,  as   for  their  disloyalty  were  banished  by 
Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  from  whom  he  feared  some  treachery, 
there  was  no  reason  that  the  prince   should  pay  him  any 
subjection,  as  by  this  breach  of  the  peace  he  was  exempted 


*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  327. 

•f-  It  appears  that  Lhewelyn  was  summoned  by  King  Edward  to  repair  to  different 
places-,  and  it  is  highly  probable,  during  this  time,  that  the  following  remarkable 
circumstance  took  place.  Edward  being  at  Aust  Ferry  on  the  Severn,  and  knowing  that 
the  Prince  of  Wales  was  on  the  opposite  side,  sent  him  an  invitation  to  come  over  the 
river,  that  they  might  confer  together  and  settle  some  matters  of  dispute.  This  being 
refused  by  Lhewelyn,  King  Edward  threw  himself  into  a  boat,  and  crossed  over  to  the 
prince  •,  who,  struck  with  the  gallantry  of  the  action,  leaped  into  the  water  to  receive  him, 
telling  the  king  at  the  same  time  that  his  humility  had  conquered  his  own  pride,  and  that 
his  wisdom  had  triumphed  over  his  own  folly. 

J  Rymer,  p.  41.    J.  Rossi,  Ant.  Warw.  p.  102. 


from  all  homage.  However,  Prince  Lhewelyn,  to  show  that 
it  was  not  out  of  any  stubbornness  or  disrespect,  to  the  King 
of  England,  that  he  refused  to  come,  sent  up  his  reasons  by 
the  Abbots  of  Ystratflur  and  Conway  to  Robert  Kilwarby 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and  the  rest  of  the  bishops  then 
sitting  in  convocation  in  the  New  Temple  at  London,  which 
were  to  this  effect : — 

"  To  the  Most  Reverend  Fathers  in  God,  Robert,  Arch- 
"  bishop  of  Canterbury  and  Metropolitan  of  all  Eng- 
"  land,  the  Archbishop  of  York,  arid  the  rest  of  the 
"  Bishops  in  Convocation;  Lhewelyn,  Prince  of  Wales 
"  and  Lord  of  Sncwdon,  sendeth  greeting: 

"  WE  would  have  your  Lordships  to  understand,  that 
"  whereas  formerly  most  terrible  and  incessant  wars  were 
"  continually  managed  betwixt  Henry  King  of  England  and 
"  Ourself;  the  same  were  at  last  composed,  and  all  matters 
"  of  differences  were  adjusted  by  the  means  of  his  Excel- 
"  lency  Cardinal  Ottobonus,  the  Pope's  legate,  who  having 
"  drawn  the  articles  and  conditions  of  the  peace  agreed 
"  upon,  they  were  signed  and  swore  to,  not  only  by  the 
"  king,  but  also  the  prince  his  son,  now  king  of  England. 
"  Among  these  articles  were  comprehended,  that  We  and 
<f  Our  successors  should  hold  of  the  king  and  his  successor, 
"  the  principality  of  Wales,  so  that  all  the  Welsh  lords,  one 
"  baron  excepted,  should  hold  their  baronies  and  estates  in 
te  capite  of  Us,  and  should  pay  their  homage  and  fealty  for 
( (  the  same  to  Us ;  We  in  like  manner  doing  homage  to  the 
"  king  of  England  and  his  successors.  And  besides,  that 
"  the  king  and  his  successors  should  never  offer  to  receive 
"  and  entertain  any  of  Our  enemies,  nor  any  such  of  Our 
(f  own  subjects  as  were  lawfully  banished  and  excluded  Our 
' f  dominions  of  Wales,  nor  by  any  means  defend  and  uphold 
"  such  against  Us.  Contrary  to  which  articles,  King 
"  Edward  has  forcibly  seized  upon  the  estates  of  certain 
"  barons  of  Wales,  which  they  and  their  ancestors  have 
f(  been  immemorably  possessed  of,  and  detains  a  barony 
"  which  by  the  form  of  peace  should  have  been  delivered 
"  to  us ;  and  moreover,  has  hitherto  entertained  David  ap 
tf  Gruffydh  Our  brother,  and  Gruffydh  ap  Gwenwynwyn, 
'(  with  several  other  of  Our  enemies  who  are  outlaws  and 
"  fugitives  of  Our  country,  and  though  We  have  often 
"  exhibited  Our  grievances  and  complaints  against  them, 
"  for  destroying  and  pillaging  Our  country,  yet  We  could 
"  never  obtain  of  the  king  any  relief  or  redress  for  the 
<e  several  wrongs  and  injuries  We  received  at  their  hands; 

"  but 


C(  but  on  the  contrary  they  still  persist  to  commit  wastes 
"  and  other  outrages  in  Our  dominions.  And  for  all  this, 
"  he  summons  Us  to  do  him  homage  at  a  place  which  is 
"  altogether  dangerous  to  Our  person,  where  Our  inveterate 
"  enemies,  and  which  is  worse,  Our  own  unnatural  subjects, 
"  bear  the  greatest  sway  and  respect  with  the  king.  And 
"  though  We  have  alleged  several  reasons  to  the  king  and 
<f  his  council,  why  the  place  by  him  assigned  is  not  safe 
"  and  indifferent  for  Us  to  come,  and  desire  him  to  appoint 
"  another,  whereto  we  might  with  more  safety  resort,  or 
"  else  that  he  would  send  commissioners  to  receive  Our 
"  oath  and  homage,  till  he  could  more  opportunely  receive 
(f  them  in  person ;  yet  he  would  not  assent  to  Our  just  and 
"  reasonable  request,  nor  be  satisfied  with  the  reasons  We 
(f  exhibited  for  Our  non-appearance.  Therefore  We  desire 
"  your  lordships  earnestly  to  weigh  the  dismal  effects  that 
"  will  happen  to  the  subjects  both  of  England  and  Wales 
"  upon  the  breach  of  the  articles  of  peace,  and  that  you 
"  would  be  pleased  to  inform  the  king  of  the  sad  conse- 
"  quence  of  another  war,  which  can  no  way  be  prevented 
"  but  by  using  Us  according  to  the  conditions  of  the  former 
<f  peace,  which,  for  Our  part,  We  will  in  no  measure  trans- 
"  gress.  But  if  the  king  will  not  hearken  to  your  counsel, 
f(  We  hope  that  you  will  hold  Us  excused,  if  the  nation  be 
"  disquieted  and  troubled  thereupon,  which  as  much  as  in 
"  Us  lieth  We  endeavour  to  prevent." 

King  Edward  would  not  admit  of  any  excuse,  nor  hearken 
to  any  manner  of  reason  in  the  case,  but  was  exceedingly 
enraged,  and  conceived  an  unappeasable  displeasure  against 
Prince  Lhewelyn,  which,  however,  he  thought  it  convenient 
to  conceal  and  dissemble  for  a  time.  Indeed,  he  was  pre- 
judiced against  Lhewelyn  ever  since  he  had  been  vanquished 
and  put  to  flight  by  him  in  the  marches,  so  that  the  chief 
cause  of  King  Edward's  anger  originally  proceeded  from  a 
point  of  wounded  honour,  which  this  refusal  of  homage 
served  to  increase.  To  prosecute  his  revenge,  which  upon 
such  a  ground  is  commonly  in  princes  very  implacable,  he  in 
a  short  time  came  to  Chester,  meaning  to  recover  by  force 
what  he  could  not  obtain  by  fair  means.  From  thence  he 
sent  to  the  Prince  of  Wales,  requiring  him  to  come  and  do 
him  homage,  which  Lhewelyn  either  absolutely  refusing  or 
willingly  neglecting  to  do,  King  Edward  made  ready  his 
A.  D.  1277.  army  to  force  him  thereto :  but  an  accident  occurred,  which 
took  off  a  great  part  of  Lhewelyn's  obstinacy ;  for  at  this 
time  the  Countess  of  Leicester,  the  widow  of  Simon  Mont- 


ford,*  who  lived  at  Montargis,  a  nunnery  in  France,  sent 
over  to  Wales  her  daughter,  the  Lady  Eleanor,  (whom 
Lhewelyn  extremely  loved,)  with  her  brother  Aemerike, 
the  former  to  be  married  to  the  prince  according  to  the 
agreement  made  in  the  time  of  her  father,  Earl  Montford : 
Aemerike,  however,  fearing  to  touch  upon  the  coast  of 
England,  steered  his  course  towards  the  islands  of  Scilly, 
where  by  the  way  they  were  all  taken  by  four  Bristol  ships, 
and  brought  to  King  Edward,  who  received  the  lady  very 
honourably,  but  committed  her  brother  prisoner  to  the 
castle  of  Corff,  whence  he  was  afterwards  removed  to  the 
castle  of  Shirburne.  The  king  having  obtained  this  unex- 
pected advantage  over  Lhewelyn,  began  boldly  to  fall  upon 
him,  and  so  dividing  his  army  into  two  battalions,  led  one 
himself  into  North  Wales,  and  advanced  as  far  as  Ruddlan, 
where  he  strongly  fortified  the  castle.  The  other  he  com- 
mitted to  Paganus  de  Camutiis,  a  great  soldier,  who,  entering 
into  West  Wales,  burned  and  destroyed  a  great  part  of  the 
country.  Then  the  people  of  South  Wales,  fearing  that  his 
next  expedition  would  be  levelled  against  them,  volunta- 
rily submitted  themselves  to  the  king,  and  did  him  homage, 
and  then  delivered  up  the  castle  of  Ystraty wy  to  Paganus. 

Prince  Lhewelyn,  hearing  of  this,  and  finding  that  his 
own  subjects  forsook  him,  but  more  especially  being  de- 
sirous to  recover  his  spouse  the  Lady  Eleanor,  thought  it 
likewise  advisable  to  submit,  and  therefore  sued  to  King 
Edward  for  a  peace,  who  granted  it,  but  upon  very  severe 
conditions,  as  regarded  Lhewelyn.  The  agreement  con- 
sisted of  ten  articles,  which  were, — I.  That  the  prince 
should  set  at  liberty  all  prisoners  that  upon  the  king's 
account  were  detained  in  custody.  II.  That  for  the  king's 
favour  arid  good-will,  he  should  pay  50,000  marks,  to  be 
received  at  the  king's  pleasure.  III.  That  these  four  can- 
treds  or  hundreds,  viz.  Cantref  Ros,  where  the  king's  castle 
of  Diganwy  stands, — Ryfonioc,  where  Denbigh, — Teg- 
eingl,  where  Ruddlan, — Dyflfryn  Clwyd,  where  Ruthyn, 
stands, — should  remain  in  the  king's  hands.  IV.  That 
the  Lords  Marchers  should  quietly  enjoy  all  the  lands  they 
had  conquered  within  Wales,  excepting  in  the  Isle  of 
Anglesey,  which  was  wholly  granted  to  the  prince.  V. 
That  in  consideration  of  this  island,  the  prince  should  pay 
5000  marks  in  hand,  with  the  reserve  of  1000  marks 
yearly,  to  begin  at  Michaelmas;  and  in  case  the  prince  died 


*  He  married  Eleanor,  dowager  of  William  Earl  of  Pembroke,  and  sisfer  to  Henry  the 
Third.  This  Simon  de  Montford  built  a  castle  at  Broadway,  near  Churchstoke,  called 
Simon's  Castle,  now  demolished. — Lleweljti's  Manuscript. 


without  issue,  the  whole  island  should  return  to  the  king. 
VI.  That  the  prince  should  come  every  year  to  England  to 
pay  his  homage  to  the  king  for  all  his  lands.  VII.  That 
all  the  barons  of  Wales,  excepting  five  in  Snowdon,  should 
hold  their  lands  and  estates  of  the  king,  and  no  other. 
VIII.  That  the  title  of  Prince  should  remain  only  for  his 
life,  and  not  descend  to  his  successor's,  and  after  his  death, 
the  five  lords  of  Snowdon  should  hold  their  lands  only  from 
the  king.  IX.  That  for  the  performance  of  these  articles, 
the  prince  should  deliver  up  for  hostages  ten  persons  of  the 
best  quality  in  the  country  ^  without  imprisoning,  disinhe- 
riting, and  any  time  of  redemption  determined,  X.  And 
farther,  that  the  king  should  choose  twenty  persons  in 
North  Wales,  who,  besides  the  prince,  should  take  their 
oaths  for  the  due  performance  of  these  articles ;  and  in  case 
the  prince  should  swerve  and  recede  from  them,  and  upon 
admonition  thereof  not  repent,  they  should  forsake  him,  and 
become  his  enemies.  The  prince  was  obliged  to  suffer 
his  brethren  quietly  to  enjoy  their  lands  in  Wales,  whereof 
David  for  his  service  was  dubbed  knight  by  the  king,  and 
had  the  Earl  of  Derby's  widow  given  him  in  matrimony,  and 
with  her  as  a  portion  the  castle  of  Denbigh  in  North 
Wales,  besides  1000  pounds  in  lands.  His  other  brother 
Roderic  had  lately  escaped  out  of  prison  into  England,  and 
the  younger,  called  Owen,  was  upon  his  composition  deli* 
vered  out  of  prison. 

King  Edward  having  imposed  these  severe  conditions 
upon  Prince  Lhewelyn,  and  for  a  better  security  for  the 
performance  of  them,  built  a  castle  at  Aberystwith,  returned 
very  honourably  into  England  ;  upon  whose  arrival,  the 
people  willingly  granted  him  a  subsidy  of  the  twentieth 
part  of  their  estates  towards  his  charges  in  this  war:  but  it 
seems  very  probable  that  Prince  Lhewelyn  submitted  to 
these  intolerable  conditions,  more  upon  the  account  of  his 
amours,  and  to  regain  the  Lady  Eleanora  out  of  the  King  of 
England's  hand,  than  that  he  was  apprehensive  of  any 
considerable  danger  he  might  receive  by  the  English  troops; 
for  it  is  hardly  conceivable,  that  a  prince  of  such  well-known 
conduct  and  valour,  would  so  easily  accept  of  such  severe 
terms,  and  as  it  were  deliver  up  his  principality,  when  there 
was  no  necessity  so  to  do,  without  resisting  an  enemy, 
whom  he  had  frequently  overcome,  and  forced  to  retire 
back  with  greater  inequality  than  the  English  had  at 
present  over  him :  but  the  force  of  love  works  wonders,  and 
in  this  case  proved  most  irresistible,  for  to  obtain  his  desire 
Lhewelyn  did  not  scruple  to  forfeit  his  just  right  to  his 



inveterate  enemies,  and  for  ever  to  exclude  his  posterity 
from  succeeding  in  their  lawful  inheritance.  The  next  year  A-D- 1278- 
therefore,  he  had  his  wish  accomplished,  and  was  married  to 
Eleanora  at  Worcester,  the  king  and  queen,  with  all  the 
nobility  and  persons  of  quality  in  England,  honouring  the 
wedding  with  their  presence.* 

This  specious  amity,    and  the  peace  lately  concluded 
betwixt  them,  did  not.  however  last  long,  for  the  English 
governors   in  the  marches  and  inland   counties  of  Wales, 
presuming    upon   the    prince's    submission    to    the    king, 
grievously  oppressed  the  inhabitants  of  the  country,  with 
new  and  unheard-of  exactions,  and  with  intolerable  par- 
tiality openly    encouraged    the    English    to    defraud   and 
oppress  the  Welsh.     These  insupportable  practices  moved 
the  Welsh  to  go  in  a  body  to  David  Lord  of  Denbigh,  to 
endeavour  to  procure  a  reconciliation  between  him  and  his 
brother  the  prince,  that  they  both,  being  at  unity,  might 
easily  deliver  themselves  and  their   country  from  the  un- 
merciful tyranny  of  the  English.     David  was  not  ignorant  of 
the  miseries  of  his  countrymen,  and  therefore  gladly  sub- 
mitted to  be  reconciled  to  his  brother,  with  promise  never 
to  take  part  again  with  the  King  of  England,  but  to  become 
his  utter  enemy.     This  happy  union  being  thus  effected, 
David  was  chosen  general  of  the  army,   with   which  he 
presently  marched  to  Hawarden,  and  surprising  the  castle 
slew  all    that  opposed    him,    and    took    Roger    Clifford 
prisoner,  who  had  been  sent  by  King  Edward  as  Justiciary 
into  those  parts.f      From  thence,    being    joined  by   the 
prince,  he  passed  to   Rhuddlan,    and  laid   siege  to   the 
castle ;  but  upon  notice  given  that  the  king  was  marching  to 
raise  the  siege,  he  deemed  it  convenient  to  withdraw,  and  to 
retire.     At  the  same  time  Rhys  ap  Maelgon  and  Gruffydh 
ap  Meredith  ap  Owen,  with  other  lords  of  South  Wales, 
took  from  the   English  the   castle  of   Aberystwith,   with 
divers  others  in  that  country,  and  plundered  all  the  people 
thereabouts,  who  owned  subjection  to  the  crown  of  Eng- 
land.    In  the  mean  while  John  Peckham,  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury,  perceiving  how  matters  were  likely  to  proceed 
between  the  king  and  the  prince,  and  that  the  kingdom  was 
completely  involved  in  a  war,  he  of  his  own  will  came  to 
Prinee  LhewelynJ  to  endeavour  a  re-submission  from  him 


*  On  the  13th  of  October. — Holinshead,  p  277. 

f  This  occurrence  took  place  on  Palm  Sunday.  Henry  de  Knyghton  de  Event.  Ang. 
p.  2464,  says,  that  they  slew  all  the  masons,  carpenters,  and  other  workmen  employed  in 
the  Justiciary  fortresses. 

J  Rymer,  vol.  2,  p.  68. — About  this  time  died  ihe  wife  of  Lhewelyn  (Eleanor  de 
Montford)  in  child-bed. 


and  his  brother  David  to  King  Edward,  and  so  to  put  a 
stop  to  any  further  hostilities. 

In  order  to  this,  he  sent  before-hand,  to  the  prince  and 
people  of  Wales,  intimating  to  them,  "  That  for  the  love  he 
"  bore  to  the  Welsh  nation,  he  undertook  this  arbitration, 
"  without  the  knowledge,  and  contrary  to  the  king's  liking ; 
"  and  therefore  earnestly  desired,  that  they  would  submit  to 
"  a  peace  with  the  English,  which  himself  would  endeavour 
"  to  bring  to  pass.  And  because  he  could  make  no  long 
"  continuance  in  those  parts,  he  wished  them  to  consider  how 
((  that  if  he  should  be  forced  to  depart  before  any  thing 
"  was  brought  to  a  conclusion,  they  could  hardly  find  ano- 
"  ther  who  would  so  heartily  espouse  their  cause ;  and 
"  farther  threatened,  that  in  case  they  contemned  and 
ef  derided  his  endeavours,  he  would  not  only  instigate  the 
"  English  army,  now  greatly  strengthened  and  increased,  to 
fe  fall  upon  them,  but  also  signify  their  stubbornness  to  the 
"  court  and  bishop  of  Rome,  who  esteemed  and  honoured 
"  England  beyond  any  other  kingdom  in  the  world.  More- 
"  over,  he  much  lamented  to  hear  of  the  excessive  cruelty 
"  of  the  Welsh,  even  beyond  that  of  the  Saracens  and  other 
"  infidels,  who  never  refused  to  permit  slaves  and  captives 
"  to  be  ransomed;  which  the  Welsh  were  so  far  from 
"  practising,  that  even  some  time  they  slew  those  for  whose 
<f  redemption  they  received  money.  And  whereas  they 
"  were  wont  to  esteem  and  reverence  holy  and  ecclesiastical 
"  persons,  they  are  now  so  far  degenerated  from  devotion 
"  and  sanctity,  that  nothing  is  more  acceptable  to  them  than 
<f  war  and  sedition,  which  they  had  now  great  need  to  for- 
"  sake  and  repent  of.  Lastly,  he  proposed  that  they  would 
"  signify  to  him,  wherein  and  what  laws  and  constitutions 
((  of  theirs  were  violated  by  the  English,  and  by  what  means 
"  a  firm  and  a  lasting  peace  might  be  established ;  which,  if 
ff  they  rejected,  they  must  expect  to  incur  the  decree  and 
"  censure  of  the  church,  as  well  as  endure  the  violent  in- 
f '  roads  and  depredations  of  a  powerful  army." 

To  these,  partly  admonitions,  and  partly  threatenings  of 
the  archbishop,  Prince  Lhewelyn  returned  an  answer: 
"  That  he  humbly  thanked  his  Grace  for  the  pains  and 
(f  trouble  he  undertook  in  his  and  his  subjects'  behalf;  and 
"  more  particularly,  because  he  would  venture  to  come  to 
"  Wales,  contrary  to  the  pleasure  and  good  liking  of  the 
"  king.  And  as  for  concluding  a  peace  with  him,  he  would 
"  not  have  his  Grace  be  ignorant,  that  with  all  readiness  he 
"  was  willing  to  submit  to  it,  upon  condition  that  the  king 
"  would  duly  and  sincerely  observe  the  same.  And  though 


c<  he  would  be  glad  of  his  longer  continuance  in  Wales,  yet 
"  he  hoped  that  no  obstructions  would  happen  of  his  side, 
"  why  a  peace  (which  of  all  things  he  most  desired)  might 
"  not  be  forthwith  concluded,  and  rather  by  his  Grace's 
(t  procuring  than  any  other's ;   so  that  there  would  be  no 
"  farther  need  of  acquainting  the  Pope  with  his  obstinacy, 
"  nor  moving  the  king  of  England  to  use  any  force  against 
' '  him.     And  though  the  kingdom  of  England  be  under  the 
"  immediate  protection  of  the  see  of  Rome,  yet  when  his 
((  Holiness  comes  to  understand  the  great  and  unsufferable 
"  wrongs  done  to  him  by  the  English ;  how  the  articles  of 
"  peace  were  broken,  churches  and  all  other  religious  houses 
fl  in  Wales  were  burned  down  and  destroyed,  and  religious 
< '  persons  unchristianly  murdered,  he  hoped  he  would  rather 
"  pity   and  lament  his   condition,    than  with  addition   of 
"  punishment  increase  and  augment  his  sorrow.     Neither 
"  shall  the  kingdom  of  England  be  anywise  disquieted  and 
"  molested  by  his  means,  in  case  the  peace  be  religiously 
"  observed  towards  him  and  his  subjects.     But  who  they 
te  are  that   delight  themselves  with  war   and  bloodshed,, 
"  manifestly  appears  by  their  actions  and  behaviour ;   the 
"  Welsh  being  glad  to  live  quietly  upon  their  own,  if  they 
te  might  be  permitted  by  the  English,  who  coming  to  the 
"  country,  utterly  destroy  whatever  comes  in  their  way, 
"  without  regard  either  to  sex,  age,  or  religious  places. 
ft  But  he  was  extremely  sorry  that  any  one  should  be  slain, 
"  having  paid  his  ransom ;  the  author  of  which  unworthy 
(f  action  he  did  not  pretend  to  maintain,  .but  would  inflict 
((  upon  him  his  condign  punishment,  in  case  he  could  be 
"  got  out  of  the  woods  and  deserts,  where  as  an  outlaw  he 
ef  lives  undiscovered.     But  as  to  commencing  a  war  in  a 
' '  season  inconvenient,  he  protested  he  knew  nothing  of  that 
"  till  now :  yet  those  that  did  so,  do  solemnly  attest  that  to 
"  be  the  only  measure  they  had  to  save  themselves,  and  that 
"  they  had  no  other  security  for  their  lives  and  fortunes, 
"  than  to  keep  themselves   in  arms.     Concerning  his  sins 
"  and  trespasses  against   God,  with   the  assistance  of  his 
"  Grace,  he  would  endeavour  to  repent  of;  neither  should 
"  the  war  be  willingly  continued  by  him,  in  case  he  might 
"  save  himself  harmless ;  but  before  he  would  be  unjustly 
"  dispossessed   of  his  legal  property,   he  thought  it  but 
"  reasonable,  by  all  possible  measures,  to  defend  himself. 
"  And  he  was  very  willing,  upon  due  examination  of  the 
"  trespasses  committed,  to  make  satisfaction  and  retribution 
' e  of  all  wrongs  committed  by  him  and  his  subjects ;  so  that 

"  the 


' '  the  English  would  observe  the  same  on  their  side ;  and 
"  likewise  was  ready  to  conclude  a  peace,  which  he  thought 
"  was  impossible  to  be  established,  as  long  as  the  English 
"  had  no  regard  to  articles,  and  still  oppressed  his  people 
"  with  new  and  unwarrantable  exactions.  Therefore  seeing 
"  his  subjects  were  unchristianly  abused  by  the  king's 
"  officers,  and  all  his  country  most  tyrannically  harassed, 
"  he  saw  no  reason  why  the  English,  upon  any  fault  of  his 
ee  side,  should  threaten  to  bring  a  formidable  army  to  his 
' e  country,  nor  the  church  pretend  to  censure  him :  seeing 
fe  also,  he  was  very  willing,  upon  the  aforesaid  conditions, 
"  to  submit  to  a  peace.  And  lastly,  he  desired  his  Grace, 
"  that  he  would  not  give  the  more  credit  to  his  enemies, 
"  because  they  were  near  his  person,  and  could  deliver 
"  their  complaints  frequently,  and  by  word  of  mouth;  for 
"  they  who  made  no  conscience  of  oppressing,  would  not  in 
"  all  probability  stick  to  defame,  and  make  false  accusa- 
"tions;  and,  therefore,  his  Grace  would  make  a  better 
te  estimation  of  the  whole  matter,  by  examining  their  ac- 
"  tions  rather  than  believing  their  words." 

Prince  Lhewelyn  having  to  this  purpose  replied  in  general 
to  the  archbishop's  articles,  presented  him  with  a  formal 
detail  of  the  several  grievances  which  himself  and  others  of 
his  subjects  had  wrongfully  and  unjustly  received  at  the 
hands  of  the  English :  and  the  archbishop  having  read  over 
the  statement  of  these  grievances,  and  finding  the  Welsh  to 
be  upon  good  reason  guiltless  of  that  severe  character, 
which  by  the  malicious  insinuations  of  the  English  he  had 
conceived  of  them,  went  to  King  Edward,  requesting  him 
to  take  into  consideration  the  wrongs  and  injuries  done  to 
the  Welsh ;  which  if  he  would  not  redress,  at  least  he  might 
excuse  them  from  any  breach  of  obedience  to  him,  seeing 
they  had  such  just  reasons  for  what  they  did.  The  king 
replied,  that  he  willingly  forgave  them,  and  would  make 
reasonable  satisfaction  for  any  wrong  done;  and  that  they 
should  have  free  access  to  declare  their  grievances  before 
him ;  and  then  might  safely  depart,  in  case  it  would  appear 
just  and  lawful  they  should.  The  archbishop  upon  this 
thought  he  had  obtained  his  purpose  ;  and  therefore,  with- 
out any  stay,  hastened  to  Snowdon,  where  the  prince  and 
his  brother  David  resided,  and  having  stated  to  them  what 
the  king  had  said,  earnestly  desired  that  they  and  the  rest 
of  the  nobility  of  Wales  would  submit  themselves,  and  by 
him  be  introduced  to  the  king's  presence.  Prince  Lhewelyn, 
after  some  time  spent  in  conference  and  debate,  declared 
that  he  was  ready  to  submit  to  the  king,  with  the  reserve 



only  of  two  particulars;  namely,  his  conscience,  whereby  he 
was  obliged  to  regard  the  safety  and  liberties  of  his  people; 
and  then  the  decency  of  his  own  state  and  quality.  The 
king,  however,  understanding  by  the  archbishop  that  the 
prince  stood  upon  terms,  positively  refused  to  consent  to 
any  more  treaties  of  peace,  than  that  he  should  simply 
submit  without  any  farther  conditions.  The  archbishop 
had  experience  enough,  that  the  Welsh  would  never  agree 
to  such  proposals ;  arid  therefore  desired  his  Majesty  to  give 
him  leave,  with  the  rest  of  the  English  nobility  present,  to 
confer  and  conclude  upon  the  matter;  which  being  granted, 
they  unanimously  resolved  on  the  following  articles,  and 
sent  them  to  the  prince  by  John  Wallensis,  Bishop  of 
St.  David's: — * 

"  I.  The  king  will  have  no  treaty  of  the  four  cantreds, 
"  and  other  lands  which  he  has  bestowed  upon  his  nobles ; 
"  nor  of  the  isle  of  Anglesey. 

((  II.  In  case  the  tenants  of  the  four  cantreds  submit 
"  themselves,  the  king  purposeth  to  deal  kindly  and  honour- 
"  ably  with  them ;  which  we  are  sufficiently  satisfied  of,  and 
"  will,  what  in  us  lies,  endeavour  to  further. 

"  III.  We  will  do  the  like  touching  Prince  Lhewelyn, 
"  concerning  whom  we  can  return  no  other  answer,  than  that 
"  he  must  barely  submit  himself  to  the  king,  without  hopes 
' '  of  any  other  conditions." 

These  were  the  publick  articles  agreed   upon  by  the 
English  nobility,  and  sent  to  Prince  Lhewelyn;    besides 
which  they  sent  some  private  measures  of  agreement,  relat- 
ing both  to  him  and  his  brother  David ;  promising,  that  in 
case  he  would  submit,  and  put  the  king  in  quiet  possession 
of  Snowdon,  his  Majesty  would  bestow  an  English  county 
upon  him,  with  the  yearly  revenue  of  a  thousand  pounds 
sterling.     And  moreover,  his  daughter  should  be  provided 
for  suitable  to  her  birth  and  quality,  and  all  his  subjects 
according  to  their  estate   and  condition ;    and  in  case  he 
should  have  male   issue  by  a  second  wife,  the  aforesaid 
county   and  one  thousand  pounds  should   remain    to  his 
posterity  for  ever.     As  for  David,  the  prince's  brother,  if 
he  would  consent  to  go  to  the  Holy  Land,  upon  condition 
not  to  return  but  upon  the  king's  pleasure,  all  things  should 
be  honourably  prepared  for  his  journey  with  respect  to  his 
quality ;  and  his  child  maintained  and  provided  for  by  the 
king.     To  these  the  archbishop  added  his  threats,  that  in 
case  they  did  not  comply,  and  submit  themselves  to   the 
king's  mercy,  there  were  very  severe  and  imminent  dangers 

s  2 



hanging  over  their  heads  ;  a  formidable  army  was  ready  to 
make  an  inroad  into  their  country,  which  would  not  only 
harass  and  oppress  them,  but  in  all  probability  totally 
eradicate  the  whole  nation:  besides  which,  they  were  to 
expect  the  most  severe  censure  and  punishment  by  the 

All  this  could  not  force  so  unlimited  a  submission  from 
the  prince,  but  that  he  would  stand  upon  some  certain  con- 
ditions ;    and  therefore  by  letter  he  acquainted  the  arch- 
bishop, '  that  he  was  with  all  willingness  desirous  to  submit 
himself  to  the  king;  but  withal,  that  he  could  not  do  it  but 
in  such  a  manner  as  was  safe  and  honest  for  him.     And 
because  the  form  of  submission  contained  in  the  articles  sent 
to  him,  were  by  himself  and  his  council  thought  pernicious 
and  illegal  for  him  to  consent  to,  as  tending  rather  to  the 
destruction  than  the  security  of  himself  and  his  subjects,  he 
could  in  no   wise  agree   to   it;  and  in  case  he  should  be 
willing,  the  rest  of  his  nobility   and  people  would  never 
admit  of  it,  as  knowing  for  certain  the  mischief  and  incon- 
veniency  that  would  ensue  thereby.     Therefore  he  desired 
his  lordship,  that  for  a  confirmation  of  an  honest  and  a 
durable  peace,  which  he  had  all  this  while  earnestly  la- 
boured for,  he  would  manage  matters  circumspectly,  and 
with  due  regard  to  the  following  articles :  for  it  was  much 
more  honourable  for  the  king,  and  far  more  consonant  to 
reason,  that  he  should  hold  his  lands  in  the  country  where 
he  was  born  and  dwelt  in,  than  that,  by  dispossessing  of  him, 
his  estate  should  be  bestowed  upon  strangers.'     With  this 
was  sent  the  general  answer  of  the  Welsh  to  the  archbishop's 
articles,  viz. — 

"  I.  Though  the  king  would  not  consent  to  treat  of  the 
c '  four  cantreds,  nor  of  the  isle  of  Anglesey ;  yet  unless 
"  these  be  comprehended  in  the  treaty,  the  prince's  council 
"  will  not  conclude  a  peace  ;  by  reason  that  these  cantreds 
<(  have,  ever  since  the  time  of  Camber  the  son  of  Brutus, 
"  properly  and  legally  belonged  to  the  Princes  of  Wales ; 
' '  besides  the  confirmation  which  the  present  prince  obtained 
"  by  the  consent  of  the  king  and  his  father,  at  the  treaty 
"  before  Cardinal  Ottobonus,  the  Pope's  legate,  whose 
fe  letters  patent  do  still  appear.  And  more,  the  justice  of 
"  the  thing  itself  is  plainly  evident,  that  it  is  more  reason- 
"  able  for  our  heirs  to  hold  the  said  cantreds  for  money,  and 
"  other  services  due  to  the  king,  than  that  strangers  enjoy 
"  the  same,  who  will  forcibly  abuse  and  oppress  the  people. 
"  II.  All  the  tenants  of  the  cantreds  of  Wales  do  unani- 
"  mously  declare  that  they  dare  not  submit  themselves  to 



"  the  king's  pleasure ;  by  reason  that  he  never  from  the 
((  beginning  took  care  to  observe  either  covenant,  oath,  or 
"  any  other  grant  to  the  prince  and  his  people ;  and  because 
"  his  subjects  have  no  regard  to  religion,  but  most  cruelly 
"  and  unchristianly  tyrannize  over  churches  and  religious 
' '  persons ;  and  then,  for  that  we  do  not  understand  our- 
' '  selves  any  way  obliged  thereunto,  seeing  we  be  the  prince's 
"  tenants,  who  is  willing  to  pay  the  king  all  usual  and 
f(  accustomed  services. 

tf  III.  As  to  what  is  required,  that  the  prince  should 
"  simply  commit  himself  to  the  king's  will,  we  all  declare, 
"  that,  for  the  aforesaid  reasons,  none  of  us  dare  come, 
"  neither  will  we  permit  our  prince  to  come  to  him  upon 
"  those  conditions. 

"  IV.  That  some  of  the  English  nobility  will  endeavour 
"  to  procure  a  provision  of  a  thousand  pounds  a-year  in 
"  England ;  we  would  let  them  know,  that  we  can  accept 
"  of  no  such  pension ;  because  it  is  procured  for  no  other 
"  end  that  the  prince  being  disinherited,  themselves  may 
"  obtain  his  lands  in  Wales. 

"  V.  The  prince  cannot  in  honesty  resign  his  paternal 
"  inheritance,  which  has  for  many  ages  been  enjoyed  by  his 
"  predecessors,  and  accept  of  other  lands  among  the  Eng- 
' '  lish,  of  whose  customs  and  language  he  is  ignorant ;  and 
"  upon  that  score,  may  at  length  be  fraudulently  deprived 
"  of  all  by  his  malicious  and  inveterate  enemies. 

"  VI.  Seeing  the  king  intends  to  deprive  him  of  his 
"  antient  inheritance  in  Wales,  where  the  land  is  more 
(e  barren  and  untilled,  it  is  not  very  probable  that  he  will 
"  bestow  upon  him  a  more  fruitful  and  an  arable  estate  in 
"  England. 

"  VII.  As  to  the  clause  that  the  prince  should  give  the 
"  king  a  perpetual  possession  of  Snowdon,  we  only  affirm, 
"  that  seeing  Snowdon  essentially  belongs  to  the  principality 
"  of  Wales,  which  the  prince  and  his  predecessors  have 
"  enjoyed  since  Brute,  the  prince's  council  will  not  permit 
"  him  to  renounce  it,  and  accept  another  estate  in  England, 
"  to  which  he  has  not  equal  right. 

' '  VIII.  The  people  of  Snowdon  declare,  that  though  the 
"  prince  should  give  the  king  possession  of  it,  they  would 
"  never  own  and  pay  submission  to  strangers ;  for  in  so 
"  doing  they  would  bring  upon  themselves  the  same  misery 
"  that  the  people  of  the  four  cantreds  have  for  a  long  time 
"  groaned  under:  being  most  rudely  handled  and  unjustly 
"  oppressed  by  the  king's  officers,  as  woefully  appears  by 
"  their  several  grievances. 



"  IX.  As  for  David,  the  prince's  brother,  we  see  no 
(f  reason  why  against  his  will  he  should  be  compelled  to 
"  take  a  journey  to  the  Holy  Land  ;  which  if  he  happens  to 
"  undertake  hereafter  upon  the  account  of  religion,  it  is  no 
"  cause  that  his  issue  should  be  disinherited,  but  rather 
"  encouraged. 

"  Now  seeing  neither  the  prince  nor  any  of  his  subjects 
(<  upon  any  account  whatsoever  have  moved  and  begun  this 
"  war,  but  only  defended  themselves,  their  properties,  laws, 
"  and  liberties  from  the  encroachments  of  other  persons  ; 
*'  and  since  the  English,  for  either  malice  or  covetousness 
"  to  obtain  our  estates,  have  unjustly  occasioned  all  these 
"  troubles  and  broils  in  the  kingdom,  we  are  assured  that 
"  our  defence  is  just  and  lawful,  and  therein  depend  upon 
<(  the  aid  and  assistance  of  heaven ;  which  will   be  most 
"  cruelly  revenged  upon    our    sacrilegious    and  inhuman 
•f  enemies,  who  have  left  no  manner  of  enormities,  in  re- 
"  lation  to  God  and  man,  uncommitted.     Therefore  your 
ff  Grace  would    more  justly  threaten  your    ecclesiastical 
"  censures  against  the  authors  and   abettors  of  such   un- 
-(  paralleled  villainies,  than  the   innocent  sufferers.     And 
"  besides,  we  much  admire  that  you  should  advise  us  to 
f  (  part  with  our  own  estates,  and  to  live  among  our  enemies ; 
*'  as  if,  when  we  cannot  peaceably  enjoy  what  is  our  own 
"  unquestionable  right,   we    might   expect  to  have  quiet 
((  possession  of  another  man's :  and  though,  as  you  say,  it 
^  be  hard  to  live  in  war  and  perpetual  danger ;    yet  much 
"  harder  it  is,  to  be  utterly  destroyed  and  reduced  to  no- 
"  thing ;  especially  when  we  seek  but  the  defence  of  our 
"  own  liberties  from  the  insatiable  ambition  of  our  enemies. 
f '  And  seeing  your  Grace  has  promised  to  fulminate  sentence 
<{  against  all  them  that  either  for  malice  or  profit  would 
"  hinder  and  obstruct  the  peace ;  it  is  evident  who  in  this 
'*  respect  are  transgressors  and  delinquents ;  the  fear  and 
"  apprehension  of  imprisonment  and  ejection  out  of  our 
"  estates,  the  sense  of  oppression  and  tyrannical  govern- 
<f  ment,  having  compelled  us  to  take  up  arms  for  the  security 
"  of  our  lives  and  fortunes.     Therefore,  as  the  English  are 
"  not  dispossessed  of  their  estates  for  their  offences  against 
"  the  king,  so  we  are  willing  to  be  punished,  or  make  other 
< '  satisfaction  for  our  crimes,  without  being  disinherited ; 
< '  and  as  to  the  breach  of  the  peace,  it  is  notorious  that  they 
"  were  the  authors,  who  never  regarded  either  promise  or 
"  covenant,  never  made  amends  for  trespasses,  nor  remedy 
"  for  our  complaints." 

When  the  archbishop  saw  there  was  no  likelihood  of  a 



mediation,  and  that  it  was  impossible  to  conclude  a  peace 
as  long  as  the  Welsh  stood  upon  conditions,  he  relinquished 
his  pretended  affection  towards  them,  and  denounced  a 
sentence  of  excommunication  against  the  prince  and  all  his 
adherents.  It  was  a  subject  of  no  small  wonder,  that  a 
person  of  such  reputed  sanctity,  who  esteemed  the  several 
grievances  done  to  the  Welsh  to  be  intolerable,  should  now 
condemn  them  for  refusing  an  unlimited  submission  to  the 
King  of  England ;  whereas  he  had  already  owned  it  to  be 
unreasonable  :  but  this  ecclesiastical  censure  was  only  a 
prologue  to  a  more  melancholy  scene;  for  King  Edward, 
immediately  upon  its  being  issued,  sent  an  army  by  sea  to 
Anglesey,  which,  without  any  great  opposition,  conquered 
the  island,  and  without  any  mercy  put  all  that  withstood 
him  to  the  sword.  From  thence  designing  to  pass  over  to 
the  continent,  he  caused  a  bridge  of  boats  covered  with 
planks  to  be  built  over  the  Menai  (being  an  arm  of  the  sea 
which  parteth  the  isle  from  the  main  land)  at  a  place  called 
Moel  y  don,*  not  far  from  Bangor,  where  the  water  is 
narrowest.  The  bridge  being  finished,  which  was  so  broad 
as  that  threescore  men  might  pass  it  a-breast,f  William 
Latimer,  with  a  strong  party  of  the  best  experienced 
soldiers,  and  Sir  Lucas  de  Tancy,  commander  of  the 
Gascoigns  and  Spaniards,  whereof  a  great  number  served 
the  king,  passed  over,  but  could  discover  no  sign,  nor  the 
least  intimation  of  an  enemy  :  but  as  soon  as  the  tide  began 
to  appear,  and  the  sea  had  overflown  each  side  of  the 
bridge,  the  Welsh  came  down  fiercely  out  of  the  mountains, 
and  attacking  the  disheartened  English,  killed  or  drowned 
their  whole  number,  excepting  Latimer,  who  by  the  swim- 
ming of  his  horse  got  safely  to  the  bridge.  In  this  action, 
several  worthy  soldiers  of  the  English  side  were  lost ; 
among  whom  were  Sir  Lucas  de  Tancy,  Robert  Clifford, 
Sir  Walter  Lyndsey,  two  brothers  of  Robert  Burnel,  Bishop 
of  Bath,  with  many  others ;  in  all  to  the  number  of  thirteen 
knights,  seventeen  young  gentlemen,  and  two  hundred 
common  soldiers.^  A  little  after,  or  as  some  say  before, 
another  engagement  passed  between  the  English  and  the 
Welsh,  wherein  the  former  lost  fourteen  colours,  the  Lords 
Audley  and  Clifford  the  younger  being  slain,  and  the  king 
himself  forced  to  retreat  for  safety  to  the  castle  of  Hope. 


*  From  the  shore  opposite  this  place,  it  is  supposed,  the  German  forces  under 
Agricola  passed  over  into  Mona. 

f  Welsh  Chron.  p.  372.  Holinshead,  p.  281.  Annales  Waverleiensis,  p.  235. 
Polidore  Vergil,  p.  324.  Hen.  de  Knyghton  de  Event.  Ang.  p.  2464. 

J  The  Lord  Latimer,  who  commanded  the  English  in  this  detachment,  bad  the  good 
fortune  to  recover  the  bridge  by  the  stoutness  of  his  horse.  Holinshead,  p.  281,  says, 
that  only  200  foot  soldiers  perished.  Mattk.  Westminster,  176. 


"While  these  things  passed  in  North  Wales,  the  Earl  of 
Gloucester  and  Sir  Edmund  Mortimer  acted  vigorously 
with  their  forces  in  South  Wales  ;  and  lighting  the  Welsh 
at  Lhandeilo  Fawr,  overthrew  them  with  the  loss  of  no 
considerable  person,  saving  William  de  Valence  the  king's 
cousin-german,  and  four  knights  besides.  Prince  Lhewelyn 
was  all  this  while  in  Cardigan,  wasting  and  destroying  all 
the  country,  and  principally  the  lands  of  Rhys  ap  Mere- 
dith, who  very  unnaturally  rield  with  the  King  of  England 
in  all  these  wars.  Being  at  length  tired  with  exertion,  he 
with  a  few  men  privately  separated  himself  from  his  army, 
and  came  to  Buelht,  thinking  to  recreate  and  refresh  him- 
self there  undiscovered:  but  coming  to  the  river  Wye,  he 
met  with  Edmund  Mortimer  and  John  Giftbrd,  with  a 
considerable  party  of  the  people  of  that  country  of  which 
Mortimer  was  the  lord.  Neither  party  ventured  to  assail 
the  other;  and  Prince  Lhewelyn  with  one  servant  only 
retired  to  a  private  grove  in  a  neighbouring  valley,  there  to 
.consult  with  certain  lords  of  the  country,  who  had  appointed 
to  meet  him.  In  the  mean  time  Mortimer  descended  from 
the  hill,  with  intention  to  fall  upon  Lhewelyn's  men ;  which 
they  perceiving,  betook  themselves  to  the  bridge  called 
Pont  Orewyn,*  and  manfully  defended  the  passage  he  was 
to  cross.  Mortimer  could  effect  nothing  against  them,  till 
he  had  gained  the  bridge,  the  river  being  impassable;  and 
to  force  them  to  quit  if,  seemed  altogether  impracticable  : 
but  ai;  last,  the  river  was  discovered  to  be  fordable  a  little 
below,  and  so  Helias  Walwynf  was  detached  with  a  party 
through  the  river,  who  unexpectedly  attacking  the  rear  of 
the  defendants,  he  easily  forced  them  to  leave  the  bridge, 
and  save  themselves  by  flight.  Prince  Lhewelyn  during 
this  time  in  vaip  expected  the  lords  of  Buelht,  and  in  the 
end  continued  to  wait  so  long,  that  Mortimer  having  passed 
over  the  bridge,  surrounded  the  wood  in  which  he  was  with 
armed  men.  The  prince,  perceiving  himself  to  be  betrayed, 
thought  to  make  his  escape  to  his  men  ;  but  the  English  so 
closely  pursued  him,  that  before  he  could  come  in,  one 
Adam  Francton,  not  knowing  who  lie  was,  run  him  through 
with  his  sword,  being  unarmed^  The  Welsh  still  ex- 
pected the  arrival  of  their  prince,  and  though  but  a  few  in 
number,  so  gallantly  maintained  their  ground,  that  in  spite 
of  the  far  greater  number  of  the  English,  they  were  not 
Without  much  exertion  put  to  flight.  The  battle  being  over, 


*  Holin$head,  p.  281.  f  Ibid.     Welsh  Chron.  373. 

$  Henry  de  Knyghton,  p.  2464.    Humffrey  Lhuyd's  Brev.  p.  60»     Welsh  Chron.  p.  374. 
Holinshead,  p.  281. 


Francton  returned  to  plunder  his  dead;*  but  perceiving  him 
to  be  the  Prince  of  Wales,  he  thought  that  he  had  obtained 
a  sufficient  prize,  and  thereupon  immediately  cut  off  his 
head,  and  sent  it  to  King  Edward  at  Conway,  who  very 
joyfully  caused  it  to  be  placed  upon  the  highest  pinnacle  of' 
the  Tower  of  London.  Thus  fell  this  worthy  prince,  the 
greatest,  though  the  last  of  the  British  blood,  betrayed  most 
basely  by  the  lords  of  Buelht,  and  being  dead,  most  un- 
worthily dealt  with  by  the  King  of  England;  who,  contrary 
to  all  precedents,  treated  a  lawful  prince  like  a  traitor,  and 
exposed  his  crowned  head  to  the  derision  of  the  multitude. 


J_  RINCE  Lhewelyn  and  his  brother  David  being  so 
basely  taken  off,  and  leaving  no  one  to  lay  any  fair  claim  to 
the  principality  of  Wales;  King  Edward,  by  a  statute  made  Anno  12 
at  Rhuddlan,  incorporated  and  annexed  it  to  the  crown  of  Edw>  lm 
England,  constituting  several  new  and  wholesome  laws,  as 
concerning  the  division  of  Wales  into  several  counties,  the 
form  and  manner  of  writs  and  proceeding  in  trials,  with 
many  others  not  very  unlike  the  laws  and  constitutions  of  the 
English  nation. f  All  this,  however,  did  not  win  the  affec- 
tion of  the  Welsh  towards  him,  for  they  would  not  by  any 
means  own  him  as  their  sovereign,  unless  he  would  consent 
to  live  and  reign  among  them.  They  had  not  forgot  the 
cruel  oppressions  and  intolerable  insolencies  of  the  English 
officers;  and,  therefore,  they  positively  told  him,  they 
would  never  yield  obedience  to  any  other  than  a  prince  of 
their  own  nation,  of  their  own  language,  and  whose  life  and 
conversation  was  spotless  and  unblameable.  King  Edward, 
perceiving  the  Welsh  to  be  resolute  and  inflexible,  and 


*  This  action  happened  on  the  10th  of  December,  1282.  Tradition  says,  that  Lhewelyn 
caused  his  horse's  shoes  to  be  reversed  in  order  to  deceive  his  pursuers,  as  the  snow  was 
on  the  ground;  but  the  circumstance  was  made  known  by  the  treachery  of  the  smith. 
Thus  died  Lhewelyn  ap  Gruffydh,  after  a  reign  of  36  years,  leaving  only  one  daughter, 
who,  with  the  daughter  of  his  brother  David,  were  confined  in  a  nunnery  in  England,  as 
an  order  was  sent  by  Edward,  seven  years  after  the  death  of  their  parents,  to  Thomas  de 
Normanville,  to  enquire  minutely  into  the  state  and  safe  custody  of  the  said  princess. 
This  daughter  of  Lhewelyn  and  of  Eleanor  de  Montford,  called  Catherine  Lackland,  was 
sent  by  Edward,  attended  by  her  nurse,  to  be  educated  in  England.  She  was  afterwards 
married  to  Malcolm,  Earl  of  Fife.  Lhewelyn  is  also  said  to  have  had  a  son  of  the  name 
of  Madoc;  but  he  certainly  must  have  been  illegitimate,  as  that  prince  had  been  only 
once  married. — Mills's  Catalogue  of  Honour,  p.  310.  It  is  most  probable  that  David's 
daughter  remained  in  England,  and  died  a  nun. 

t  Brady,  vol.  ii.  p.  11.     Matth,  Wcstm.  177. 


absolutely  bent  against  any  other  prince,  than  one  of  their 
own  country,  happily  thought  of  this  politic,  though 
dangerous  expedient.  Queen  Eleanor  was  now  great  with 
child,  and  near  the  time  of  her  delivery ;  and  though  the 
season  was  very  severe,  it  being  the  depth  of  winter,  the 
king  sent  for  her  from  England,  and  removed  her  to  Caer- 
narvon castle,  the  place  designed  for  her  lying-in.  When 
the  time  of  her  delivery  was  come,  King  Edward  summoned 
all  the  barons  and  chief  persons  throughout  all  Wales  to 
attend  him  at  Rhuddlan,  there  to  consult  about  the  public 
good  and  safety  of  their  country,  and  being  informed  that 
his  queen  was  delivered  of  a  son,  he  told  the  Welsh  nobility, 
that  whereas  they  had  oftentimes  intreated  him  to  appoint 
them  a  prince,  and  he  had  at  this  time  occasion  to  depart 
out  of  the  country,  he,  according  to  their  request,  and  to 
the  conditions  they  had  proposed,  would  name  a  prince  for 
their  obedience.  The  Welsh  readily  agreed  to  the  motion, 
only  with  the  same  reserve,  that  he  should  appoint  them  a 
prince  of  their  own  nation.  King  Edward  assured  them,  he 
would  name  such  an  one  as  was  born  in  Wales,  could  speak 
no  English,  and  whose  life  and  conversation  no  body  could 
stain;  and  the  Welsh  agreeing  to  own  and  obey  such  a 
prince,  he  named  his  own  son  Edward,  just  then  before 
born  in  Caernarvon  castle. 

King  Edward  having  by  these  means  deluded  the  Welsh, 
and  reduced  the  whole  country  of  Wales  to  obedience, 
began  to  reward  his  followers  with  other  men's  properties, 
and  bestowed  whole  lordships  and  towns  in  the  midst  of  the 
country  upon  English  lords,  among  whom  Henry  Lacy 
Earl  of  Lincoln  obtained  the  lordship  of  Denbigh;  and 
Reginald  Grey,  second  son  to  John  Lord  Grey  of  Wilton, 
the  lordship  of  Ruthyn.  This  Henry  Lacy  was  son  to 
Edmund  Lacy,  the  son  of  John  Lacy,  Lord  of  Halton 
Pomfret,  and  constable  of  Chester,  who  married  Margaret 
the  eldest  daughter,  and  one  of  the  heirs  of  Robert  Quincy 
Earl  of  Lincoln.  This  Henry  Lacy  Lord  of  Denbigh 
married  the  daughter  and  sole  heir  of  William  Longspear 
Earl  of  Salisbury,  by  whom  he  had  issue  two  sons,  Edmund 
and  John,  who  both  died  young,  one  by  a  fall  into  a  very 
deep  well  within  the  castle  of  Denbigh ;  and  a  daughter 
named  Alicia,  who  was  married  to  Thomas  Plantagenet 
Earl  of  Lancaster,  who  in  right  of  his  wife  was  Earl  of 
Lincoln  and  Sarum,  Lord  of  Denbigh,  Halton  Pomfret,  and 
constable  of  Chester.  After  his  death,  King  Edward  II. 
bestowed  the  said  lordship  of  Denbigh  upon  Hugh  Lord 
Spencer  Earl  of  Winchester,  upon  whose  decease,  King 



Edward  III.  gave  it,  together  with  many  other  lordships  in 
the  marches,  to  Roger  Mortimer  Earl  of  March,  in  per- 
formance of  a  promise  he  had  made,  whilst  he  remained 
with  his  mother  in  France,  that  as  soon  as  he  should  come 
to  the  possession  of  the  crown  of  England,  he  would  bestow 
upon  the  said  Earl  of  March  to  the  value  of  £1000  yearly 
in  lands.  But  within  a  few  years  after,  Mortimer  being 
attainted  of  high  treason,  King  Edward  bestowed  the  said 
lordship  of  Denbigh  upon  Montague  Earl  of  Salisbury ;  but 
it  was  quickly  restored  again  to  the  Mortimers,  in  which 
house  it  continued  till  the  whole  estate  of  the  Earls  of 
March  came  with  a  daughter  to  the  house  of  York,  and  so 
to  the  crown,  Richard  Duke  of  York,  grandfather  to 
Edward  the  Fourth,  having  married  the  sole  daughter  and 
heir  of  the  house  of  Mortimer.  Hence  it  continued  in  the 
crown  to  Queen  Elizabeth's  time,  who,  in  the  sixth  year  of 
her  reign,  bestowed  the  said  lordship  upon  her  great 
favourite  Robert  Earl  of  Leicester,  who  was  then  created 
Baron  of  Denbigh.  After  him  it  returned  again  to  the 
crown,  where  it  continued  to  the  year  1696,  when  King 
William  the  Third  granted  a  patent  under  the  Great  Seal  to 
William  Earl  of  Portland,  for  the  lordships  of  Denbigh, 
Bromfield,  and  Yale.  Some  of  the  Welsh  representatives, 
perceiving  how  far  such  a  grant  encroached  upon  the 
properties  and  privileges  of  the  subject,  disclosed  their 
grievances  to  the  honourable  House  of  Commons,  who, 
after  some  consideration,  resolved  fnemine  contradicente) 
that  a  petition  should  be  presented  to  his  Majesty  by  the 
body  of  the  whole  House,  to  request  him  to  recall  his  grant 
to  the  said  Earl  of  Portland,  which  was  accordingly  done  in 
the  manner  following : 

' '  May  it  please  Your  Most  Excellent  Majesty, 

"  We,  Your  Majesty's  most  dutiful  and  loyal  subjects, 
"  the  knights,  citizens,  and  burgesses  in  parliament  assem- 
"  bled;  humbly  lay  before  Your  Majesty,  That  whereas 
"  there  is  a  grant  passing  to  William  Earl  of  Portland,  and 
"  his  heirs,  of  the  Manors  of  Denbigh,  Bromfield,  and 
"  Yale,  and  divers  other  lands  in  the  principality  of  Wales ; 
"  together  with  several  estates  of  inheritance,  enjoyed  by 
"  many  of  Your  Majesty's  subjects  by  virtue  of  ancient 
"  grants  from  the  crown : 

"  That  the  said  manors,  with  the  large  and  extensive 
"  royalties,  powers,  and  jurisdictions  to  the  same  belonging, 
se  are  of  great  concern  to  Your  Majesty  and  the  crown  of 
"  this  realm :  and  that  the  same  have  been  usually  annexed 
"  to  the  principality  of  Wales,  and  settled  on  the  Princes 



"  of  Wales  for  their  support:  and  that  a  great  number  of 
"  Your  Majesty's  subjects,  in  those  parts,  hold  their  estates 
"  by  royal  tenure,  under  great  and  valuable  compositions, 
"  rents,  royal  payments,  and  services  to  the  crown  and 
"  princes  of  Wales  ;  and  have  by  such  tenure  great  depend- 
"  ance  on  Your  Majesty  and  the  crown  of  England;  and 
t(  have  enjoyed  great  privileges  and  advantages  with  their 
"  estates  under  such  tenure : 

"  We  therefore  most  humbly  beseech  Your  Majesty,  to 
"  put  a  stop  to  the  passing  this  grant  to  the  Earl  of  Port- 
"  land,  of  the  said  manors  and  lands,  and  that  the  same 
<{  may  not  be  disposed  from  the  crown  but  by  consent  of 
"  parliament;  for  that  such  grant  is  in  diminution  of  the 
"  honour  and  interest  of  the  crown,  by  placing  in  a  subject 
"  such  large  and  extensive  royalties,  powers,  and  jurisdic- 
"  tions,  which  ought  only  to  be  in  the  crown ;  and  will 
"  sever  that  dependance  which  so  great  a  number  of  Your 
"  Majesty's  subjects  in  those  parts  have  on  Your  Majesty 
<(  and  the  crown  by  reason  of  their  tenure,  and  may  be  to 
"  their  great  oppression  in  those  rights  which  they  have 
<(  purchased  and  hitherto  enjoyed  with  their  estates ;  and 
f(  also  an  occasion  of  great  vexation  to  many  of  Your 
"  Majesty's  subjects,  who  have  long  had  the  absolute 
"  inheritance  of  several  lands  (comprehended  in  the  said 
' '  grant  to  the  Earl  of  Portland)  by  ancient  grants  from  the 
<(  crown." 

His  Majesty's  Answer. 
((  Gentlemen, 

"  I  have  a  kindness  for  my  Lord  Portland,  which  he  has 
"  deserved  of  Me,  by  long  and  faithful  services ;  but  I 
"  should  not  have  given  him  these  lands,  if  1  had  imagined 
<(  the  House  of  Commons  could  have  been  concerned ; 
"  I  will  therefore  recall  the  grant,  and  find  some  other  way 
"  of  shewing  My  favour  to  him." 

The  lordship  of  Ruthyn  continued  in  the  possession  of 
the  Greys  till  the  reign  of  Henry  VII.  when  George  Grey, 
Earl  of  Kent  and  Lord  of  Ruthyn,  upon  some  bargain, 
passed  the  same  over  to  the  king ;  after  which  it  was  in  the 
possession  of  some  of  the  Earls  of  Warwick,  and  subse- 
quently came  to  the  family  of  Myddelton  of  Chirk  Castle, 
in  the  county  of  Denbigh,  in  which  family  it  still  continues ; 
being  now  enjoyed  by  Miss  Myddelton,  one  of  the  sisters 
and  co-heirs  of  the  late  Richard  Myddelton,  Esq. 

Besides  Henry  Lacy  and  Reginald  Grey,  several  other 
gentlemen  of  quality  came  at  this  time  with  King  Edward  to 
North  Wales,  who  subsequently  became  men  of  great  pos- 


sessions  and  sway  in  the  country,  and  whose  posterity  enjoy 
the  same  to  this  time  :  but  he  that  expected  to  have  the 
largest  share  in  the  distribution  of  these  lordships  and 
estates  in  Wales,  was  one  Rhys  ap  Meredith,  a  Welshman, 
and  one  that,  contrary  to  the  allegiance  sworn  to  his  prince 
and  his  duty  to  his  native  country,  had  served  the  king  of 
England  in  all  these  wars,  and  done  the  greatest  hurt  of  any 
man  to  the  interest  of  Prince  Lhewelyn.  For  these  great 
services  done  to  King  Edward,  Rhys  expected  no  less  than 
to  be  promoted  to  the  highest  preferments  ;  and  the  king, 
after  the  Prince  of  Wales's  overthrow,  dubbed  him  knight, 
but  subsequently  gave  him  little  else,  except  fair  words  and 
great  promises. 

When  Rhys,  and  all  his  neighbours  and  countrymen,  had 
thus  submitted  themselves  to  the  government  of  the  king  of 
England,  it  happened  that  the  Lord  Pain  Tiptoft,  warden 
of  the  king's  castles  which  joined  to  Rhys's  country,  and  the 
Lord  Alan  Plucknet,  the  king's  steward  in  Wales,  cited  Sir 
Rhys  ap  Meredith,*  with  all  the  rest  of  the  country,  to  the 
king's  court  ;  which,  however,  he  refused  to  attend,  alleging 
his  ancient  privileges  and  liberties,  together  with  the  king's 
promises  to  him.      The  aforesaid  officers,  therefore,  pro-  A.  D.  1290. 
ceeded  against  him  according  to  law  :  whereupon  Sir  Rhys, 
being   much  annoyed  to  be  thus  served  by  those  whose 
interest  he  had  so  warmly  espoused,  thought  to  be  revenged 
of  Pain  Tiptoft,  and  the  rest  of  the  English.     To  that  end, 
having  drawn  together  some  of  his  tenants  and  countrymen, 
he  fell  upon  the  said  Pain  Tiptoft;    with  whom  several 
.skirmishes  afterwards  happened,  and  several  men  were  slain 
on  both  sides.     King  Edward  was  now  gone  to  Arragon,  to 
compose  the  differences  between  the  kings  of  Arragon  and 
Naples  ;  but  being  informed  of  the  disturbances  which  had 
happened  in  Wales  between  his  ministers  there  and  Sir 
Rhys  ap  Meredith,  he  wrote  to  the  latter,  requiring  him  to 
keep  the  peace  till  his  return  ;  at  which  time  he  would  re- 
dress all  grievances,  and  reduce  matters  to  proper  order. 
Sir  Rhys,  having  already  waited  sufficiently  upon  the  king's 
promises,  and  being  now  in  a  good  condition  to  offend  his 
enemies  by  force  of  arms,  would  not  give  over  the  enterprize 
he  saw  so  promising,  but,  marching  with  his  forces  to  his 
enemies'  lands,  burnt  and  destroyed  several  towns  belonging 
to  the  English.     Upon  this,  the  king  sent  to  the  Earl  of 
Cornwall,  whom  he  had  appointed  his  deputy  during  his 
absence,  to  march  with  an  army  into  Wales,  to  repress  the 


p.  283 

Welsh  Chron.  p.  379.    Henry  de  KriygMon  de  Event.  Ang.  p.  2465.     Holinshead, 


insolencies,  and  to  prevent  any  farther  disorderly  attempts  of 
the  Welsh.  The  Earl  accordingly  prepared  an  army,  and 
went  against  Sir  Rhys,  whose  army  he  quickly  dispersed, 
and  overthrew  his  castle  of  Drefolan,  but  not  without  the 
loss  of  some  of  his  chief  men :  for  as  they  besieged  and 
undermined  the  said  castle,  the  walls  unexpectedly  fell 
down,  by  which  unluckly  accident  several  of  the  English 
were  bruised  to  death,  among  whom  were  the  Lord  Strafford, 
and  the  Lord  William  de  Monchency.  Within  a  while 
after,  Robert  Tiptoft,  Lord  Deputy  of  Wales,  raised  a  very 
powerful  army  against  Sir  Rhys,  and  after  a  slaughter  of 
4000  of  the  Welsh,  took  him  prisoner,  and  the  Michaelmas 
following,  at  the  king's  going  to  Scotland,  Sir  Rhys  was 
condemned  and  executed  at  York.* 

A.D.  1293.      The  death  of  Sir  Rhys  did  not  put  a  final  period  to  all 
the  quarrels  between  the  English  and  Welsh,  for  in  a  short 
time  after  there  happened  a  new  occasion  of  murmuring  on 
the  part  of  the  Welsh,  and  fof  their  upbraiding  the  govern- 
ment of  the  English  over  them.     King  Edward  was  now  in 
actual  war  with  the  kins:  of  France ;  and  to  carry  on  this 
warfare,  he  required  a  liberal  subsidy  and  supply  from  his 
subjects.     This  tax  was  with  much  resistance  paid  in  divers 
places  of  the  kingdom,  but  more  especially  in  Wales,  the 
Welsh  being  previously  unused  to  such  large  contributions, 
1294  violently  resisted  and  exclaimed  against  it :   but  not  being 
satisfied  with  maligning  the  king's  command,  they  took  their 
own  captain,  Roger  de  Puleston,  who  was  appointed  col- 
lector of  the  said  subsidy,  and  hanged  him  up,  together  with 
divers  others  who  abetted  the  collecting  of  the  tax.     Then 
the  men  of  West  Walesf  chose  Maelgon  Fychan  for  their 
captain,   and  entering  into   Caermardhyn  and  Pembroke 
shires,  they  cruelly  harassed  all  the  lands  that  belonged  to 
the  English,  and  returned  laden  with  considerable  booty. 
The  men  of  Glamorganshire  and  the  inhabitants  of  the 
southern  parts,  chose  one  Morgan  for  their  leader,   and 
attacked  the  Earl  of  Gloucester,  whom  they  forced  to  make 
his  escape  out  of  the  country  ;    and  Morgan  was  put  in 
possession  of  those  lands  which  the  ancestors  of  the  Earl 
of  Gloucester  had  forcibly  taken  away  from  Morgan's  fore- 
fathers.    On  the  one  side,  the  men  of  North  Wales  set  up 
one  MadocJ  related  to  the  last  Lhewelyn  slain  at  Buelht, 
who  having  drawn  together  a  great  number  of  men,  came  to 


*  Agreeable  to  the  new  mode  of  punishment,  by  being  drawn  at  tbe  tail  of  a  horse, 
and  afterwards  hanged  and  quartered.— Folklore  Vergil,  p.  236.  Matth.  Westm.  p. 
184»  says,  he  was  executed  at  Berwick. 

•f-  Pembrokeshire. 
J  He  was  an  illegitimate  SOD.— Milk's  Catalogue  of  Honour,  p.  310. 


Caernarvon*  and  attacked  the  English,  who  in  great 
multitudes  had  then  resorted  thither  to  a  fair,  slew  a  great 
many,  and  afterwards  spoiled  and  ransacked  the  whole 
town.  King  Edward,  being  informed  of  these  different 
,  insurrections  and  rebellions  in  Wales,  and  desirous  to  quell 
the  pride  and  stubbornness  of  the  Welsh,  but  most,  of  all  to 
revenge  the  death  of  his  great  favourite  Roger  de  Puleston, 
recalled  his  brother  Edmund  Earl  of  Lancaster,  and  Henry 
Lacy  Earl  of  Lincoln  and  Lord  of  Denbigh,  who  with  a 
considerable  army  were  ready  to  embark  for  Gascoign,  and 
countermanded  them  into  Wales.  Being  arrived  there,  they 
passed  quietly  forward,  till  they  came  to  Denbigh,  and  as 
soon  as  they  drew  near  unto  the  castle,  upon  St.  Martin's 
day,  the  Welsh  with  great  fury  and  courage  confronted 
them,  and  joining  battle,  forced  them  back  with  a  very 
considerable  loss.  Polidore  Vergil  says,  (but  upon  what 
authority  we  are  not  informed,)  that  the  Welsh  obtained  this 
victory  rather  upon  the  account  that  the  English  army  was 
hired  with  such  money  as  had  been  wrongfully  taken  out  of 
the  abbies  and  other  religious  places,  so  that  it  was  a 
judgment  from  above,  more  than  the  force  of  the  Welsh, 
that  overcame  the  English  army.  Be  the  cause  what  it 
will,  it  is  certain  the  English  were  vanquished,  upon  which 
account  King  Edward  came  in  person  to  Wales,  and  kept 
his  Christmas  at  Aberconway,  where  Robert  Winchelsey 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  being  returned  from  Rome, 
came  to  him,  and  having  done  homage,  returned  honourably 
again  to  England.  As  the  king  advanced  farther  into  the 
country,  having  but  one  part  of  his  army  with  him,  the 
Welsh  attacked  and  took  most  of  his  carriages,  which 
contained  a  great  quantity  of  victuals  and  provision,  so  that 
the  king  with  all  his  followers  were  constrained  to  endure 
many  hardships,  insomuch  that  at  last  water  mixed  with 
honey,  and  very  coarse  and  ordinary  bread,  with  the  saltest 
meat,  were  accounted  the  greatest  delicacies  for  his  Majes- 
ty's own  table.  Their  misery  would  have  been  much 
greater,  had  not  the  other  part  of  the  army  come  in  time, 
because  the  Welsh  forces  had  surrounded  the  king  and  part 
of  his  army,  in  the  hope  of  reducing  him  to  the  utmost 
distress,  because  the  water  was  so  much  risen,  that  the  rest 
of  his  army  could  not  get  to  him :  but  the  water  within  a 
short  time  abating,  the  remainder  of  the  army  came  in, 
whereupon  the  Welsh  retired,  and  made  their  escape. 
One  thing  is  very  remarkable  of  King  Edward  during  his 
distress  at  Snowdon,  that  when  the  army  was  reduced  to 


*  Matthew  Paris,  p.  190.    Welsh  Chron.  p.  380. 


very  great  extremity,  a  small  quantity  of  wine  was  found, 
which  they  purposed  to  reserve  for  the  king's  own  use  :  but 
he,  to  prevent  any  discontent,  which  might  thereupon  be 
raised  among  his  soldiers,  absolutely  refused  to  taste 
thereof,  telling  them,  '  That  in  time  of  necessity  all  things 
should  be  common,  and  as  he  was  the  cause  and  author 
of  their  distress,  he  would  not  be  preferred  before  them  in 
his  diet.' 

Whilst  the  king  remained  in  Snowdon,  the  Earl  of  War- 
wick being  informed  that  a  great  number  of  Welsh  were 
assembled,  and  had  lodged  themselves  in  a  certain  valley 
betwixt  two  wroods,  chose  out  a  troop  of  horse,  together 
with  some  cross-bowmen  and  archers,  and  attacked  them  in 
the  night-time.  The  Welsh  being  thus  surprised  and 
unexpectedly  encompassed  by  their  enemies,  made  the 
utmost  haste  to  oppose  them,  and  pitching  their  spears  in 
the  ground,  and  directing  their  points  towards  their 
enemies,  endeavoured  by  such  means  to  keep  off  the  horse. 
But  the  Earl  of  Warwick  having  so  disposed  his  forces,  that 
between  every  two  horses  there  stood  a  cross-bow,  so 
annoyed  the  Welsh  with  their  discharges,  that  the  spear- 
men fell  apace,  and  then  the  horse  breaking  easily  in  upon 
the  rest,  bore  them  down  with  a  degree  of  slaughter  that  the 
Welsh  had  never  before  experienced.  After  this,  King 
Edward,  to  prevent  any  more  rebellious  attempts  of  the 
Welsh,  cut  down  all  the  woods  in  Wales,  wherein,  in  any 
time  of  danger,  they  were  wont  to  hide  and  save  themselves. 
For  a  farther  security,  he  repaired  and  fortified  all  the 
castles  and  places  of  strength  in  Wales,  and  built  the  castle 
of  Beaumaris,  in  the  isle  of  Anglesey,  and  having  thus  put 
all  things  in  a  settled  posture,  and  punished  those  that  had 
been  the  occasion  of  the  death  of  Roger  de  Puleston,  he 
returned  with  his  army  into  England.  As  soon  as  the  king 
had  quitted  Wales,  Madoc,  who,  as  it  is  said  before,  was 
chosen  captain  by  the  men  of  North  Wales,  gathered  some 
forces  together  and  came  to  Oswestry,  which  immediately 
surrendered  to  him  :  and  then  meeting  with  the  Lord 
Strange  near  Knockin,  who  with  a  detachment  of  the 
marchers  came  to  oppose  him,  he  gave  him  battle,  van- 
quished his  forces,  and  ravaged  his  country.  The  like 
success  he  obtained  in  a  second  engagement  against  the 
marchers  ;  but  at  last  they  brought  together  a  very  great 
number  of  men,  and  met  Madoc  marching  towards  Shrews- 
bury, upon  the  hills  of  Cefn  Digolh,  not  far  from  Caurse 
castle,*  where,  after  a  bloody  fight  on  both  sides,  Madoc 

*  It  is  said  by  others  that  Madoc  was  delivered  up  to  Edward  by  his  own  army. 


was  taken  prisoner,  and  his  army  vanquished  and  put  to 
flight.  He  was  then  sent  to  London,  and  there  sentenced 
to  remain  in  perpetual  imprisonment  in  the  Tower,*  though 
others  affirm  that  Madoc  was  never  taken,  but  that  after 
several  adventures  and  severe  conflicts,  whereby  the  Welsh 
were  reduced  to  great  extremities,  he  came  in  and  sub- 
mitted himself  to  the  king,  who  received  him  upon  condition 
he  would  not  desist  from  the  pursuit  of  Morgan,  captain  of 
the  men  of  Glamorganshire,  till  he  brought  him  prisoner 
before  him.  Madoc  having  performed  this,  and  the  whole 
country  being  peaceable  and  undisturbed,  several  hostages 
from  the  chief  nobility  of  Wales  for  their  orderly  and  quiet 
behaviour  were  delivered  to  the  kin<r,  who  disposed  of  them 
by  placing  them  in  divers  castles  in  England,  where  they 
continued  in  safe  custody  till  the  end  of  the  war  which  was 
soon  afterwards  commenced  with  Scotland. 

Tn  the  29th  year  of  King  Edward's  reign,  the  prince  of  A.  D.  1301. 
Wales  came  down  to  Chester,  and  received  homage  of  all 
the  freeholders  in  Wales  as  follows :— Henry  Earl  of  Lan- 
caster, for  Monmouth;  Reginald  Grey,  for  Ruthyn;  Foulke 
Fitzwarren,  for  his  lands;  the  Lord  William  Martyn,  for 
his  lands  in  Cemaes;   Roger  Mortimer,   for  his  lands  in 
Wales;  Henry  Lacy,  Earl  of  Lincoln,  for  Rhos  and  Rhy- 
fonioc;  Robert  Lord  Montalt,  for  his  lands;  and  Gruffydh 
Lord  of  Poole,  for  the  lordship  of  Powys.     At  the  same 
time  paid   their  homage  Tudor   ap  Grono,  of  Anglesey; 
Madoc  ap   Tudor,  Archdeacon   of  Anglesey;    Eineon  ap 
Howel,  of  Caernarvon  ;  Tudor  ap  Gruffydh  ;  Lhewelyn  ap 
Ednyfed ;  Gruffydh  Fychan,  son  of  Gruffydh  ap  lorwerth  ; 
Madoc   Fychan   d'Englefield ;    Lhewelyn,    Bishop    of  St. 
Asaph ;    and    Richard    de    Pulesdon ;    which    last-named 
person,  in  the  twelfth  year  of  King  Edward,  was  constituted 
sheriff  of  Caernarvon   for  life,   with  the  stipend  of  forty 
pounds  sterling  yearly.     At  the  same  place,  G nifty dh  ap 
Tudor,  Ithel  Fychan,  Ithel  ap  Blethyn,  with  many  more, 
did  their  homage.      Then  the  prince  came  to  Ruddlan, 
where  the  Lord  Richard  de  Sutton,  Baron  of  Malpas,  did 
homage  and  fealty  for  the  said  barony  of  Malpas.     Thence 
the  prince  removed  to  Con  way,   where  Eineon   bishop   of 
Bangor,  and  David  abbot  of  Maynan,  did  their  homage ;  as 
did  Lewis  de  Felton,  son  of  Richard  Felton,  for  the  lands 
which  his  father  held  of  the  prince  in  Maelor  Saesneg,  or 
English  Maelor.     John  Earl  Warren  swore  homage  for  the 
lordships  of  Brornfield  and  Yale,  and  for  his  lands  in  Hope- 

*  Welsh  Chron.  p.  381. 


Dale,  at  London,  in  the  chapel  of  the  Lord  John  de 
Kirkby,  who  was  some  time  bishop  of  Ely ;  as  also  a  while 
after,  Edmund  Mortimer,  for  his  lands  of  Ceri  and 

Besides  all  these,  there  paid  homage  to  the  prince  of 
Wales,  at  Chester,  Sir  Gruffydh  Llwyd,  son  of  Rhys  ap 
Gruffydh  ap  Ednyfed  Fychan,  a  stout  and  valiant  gentle- 
man, though  not  very  fortunate,  and  as  Florus  says  of 
Sertorius,  he  was  magnce  quidem,  sed  calamitosce.  virtu tis. 
He  was  knighted  by  King  Edward  the  First,  upon  his 
bringing  the  first  news  of  the  queen's  safe  delivery  of  a  son 
at  Caernarvon  castle,  the  king  holding  then  a  parliament  at 
Ruddlan.  This  Sir  Gruffydh  continued  for  some  time  on 
the  best  terms  with  the  king  of  England,  but  observing  at 
length  the  intolerable  oppression  and  tyranny  exercised  by 
the  English  officers,  especially  by  Sir  Roger  Mortimer, 
Lord  of  Chirk  and  Justice  of  North  Wales,  towards  his 
countrymen  the  Welsh,  he  became  so  much  concerned  and 
discontented  at  these  unwarrantable  practices,  that  he 
broke  out  into  open  rebellion  against  the  English ;  and  the 
better  to  effect  what  he  purposed,  he  treated  with  Sir 
Edward  Bruce,  brother  to  Robert,  then  king  of  Scotland, 
who  had  conquered  Ireland,  to  bring  or  send  over  some 
forces  to  assist  him  in  his  design  against  the  English. 

Nothing,  however,  was  concluded  upon,  and  the  whole 
treaty  came  to  nothing :  yet  Sir  Gruffydh,  though  without 
any  hopes  of  assistance  from  the  Scots,  would  not  lay  aside 
what  he  had  once  undertaken;  and  therefore,  having  ga- 
thered all  the  forces  he  could,  he  commenced  a  desperate 
warfare,  and  almost  in  an  instant  over-ran  all  North  Wales 
and  the  Marches,  seizing  upon  the  various  castles  and 
strongholds  through  the  country:  but  all  this  was  to  no 
purpose ;  for  as  the  most  violent  storm  is  quickly  over,  so 
Sir  Gruffydh's  army  became  spent,  and  then  being  met 
with  by  a  strong  detachment  of  English,  his  party  was 
easily  discomfited,  and  himself  taken  prisoner. 

A.  D.  1322.  The  same  year,  being  the  15th  of  the  reign  of  King 
Edward  the  Second,  his  eldest  son  Edward,  born  at  Wind- 
sor, in  a  parliament  holden  at  York  was  created  Prince  of 
Wales,  Duke  of  Aquitaine,  and  Earl  of  Chester.  This 
prince  succeeded  his  father  in  the  kingdom  of  England,  by 
the  name  of  Edward  the  Third,  one  of  the  greatest  and 
most  powerful  monarchs  that  ever  sat  upon  the  English 

1343.      Edward,  born  at  Woodstock,  eldest  son  and  heir  to  King 
Edward  the  Third,  was  created  Prince  of  Wales  upon  the 



12th  day  of  May,  in  the  17th  year  of  his  father's  reign, 
being  then  about  fourteen  years  of  age.  He  was  a  prince  of 
incomparable  qualifications,  but  so  much  superior  in  martial 
affairs,  that  upon  account  of  the  several  actions  he  was  en- 
gaged in,  and  the  circumstance  of  his  wearing  black  armour, 
he  was  always  mentioned  by  the  name  of  Black  Prince.  He 
took  John  the  French  king  prisoner  at  the  battle  of  Poic- 
tiers,  and  in  a  most  signal  manner  defeated  the  French 
army  in  the  battle  of  Cressy.  He  did  not  live  to  enjoy  the 
crown,  but  died  one  year  before  his  father  in  the  forty-sixth 
year  of  his  age ;  no  prince  was  in  his  life-time  more  beloved, 
nor  after  his  death  more  lamented  by  the  English  nation ; 
and  had  he  lived  to  ascend  the  throne,  no  one  doubted  but 
that  he  would  have  exceeded,  as  to  all  qualifications,  the 
most  glorious  renown  of  the  greatest  of  his  ancestors. 

In  the  time  of  Edward  the  Third  lived  Sir  Tudor 
Vaughan  ap  Grono,  descended  lineally  from  Ednyfed 
Vaughan,  a  person  as  to  estate,  power,  and  interest,  one  of 
the  chief  in  North  Wales.  Upon  some  motive,  either  of 
ambition  or  fancy,  he  assumed  to  himself  the  honour  of 
knighthood,  requiring  all  people  to  call  and  style  him  Sir 
Tudor  ap  Grono,  as  if  he  had  prognosticated  and  foreseen, 
that  out  of  his  loins  should  arise  those  that  should  have 
power  to  confer  that  honour.  King  Edward,  being  in- 
formed of  his  unparalleled  presumption,  sent  for  Sir  Tudor, 
and  asked  him  with  what  confidence  he  durst  invade  his 
prerogative,  by  assuming  the  degree  of  knighthood  without 
his  authority :  Sir  Tudor  replied,  that  by  the  laws  and 
constitution  of  King  Arthur,  he  had  the  liberty  of  taking 
upon  himself  that  title,  in  regard  he  had  those  three  qualifi- 
cations, which  whosoever  was  endued  with,  could  by  those 
laws  claim  the  honour  of  a  knight.  First,  he  was  a  gentle- 
man :  secondly,  he  had  a  sufficient  estate :  and  thirdly,  he 
was  valiant  and  adventurous;  adding  this  withal,  "If  my 
valour  and  hardiness  be  doubted  of,  lo,  here  I  throw  down 
my  glove,  and  for  due  proof  of  my  courage,  I  am  ready  to 
fight  with  any  man,  whatever  he  be."  The  king,  approving 
and  liking  well  the  man's  boldness  and  resolution,  was 
easily  persuaded  to  confirm  the  honour  of  knighthood  upon 
him.  From  this  Sir  Tudor  was  lineally  descended  Henry 
the  Seventh,  king  of  England,  who  was  the  son  of  Edmund 
Earl  of  Richmond,  the  son  of  Sir  Owen  Tudor,  son  to 
Meredith,  the  son  of  this  Sir  Tudor  ap  Grono. 

After  the  death  of  the  Black  Prince,  his  son  Richard, 
born  at  Bourdeaux  in  France,  being  but  ten  years  of  age, 

T  2 


was  created  prince  of  Wales  at  Havering-at-Boure,  on  the 
A.D.  1377.  twentietli  day  of  November,  and  in  the  fiftieth  year  of  the 
reign  of  his  grandfather,  Edward  the  Third,  whom  he  suc- 
ceeded in  the  crown  of  England. 

Henry  born  at  Monmouth,  son  and  heir  to  Henry  the 
Fourth,  King  of  England,  upon  the  fifteenth  of  October,  in 
the  first  year  of  his  father's  reign,  was  created  prince  of 
Wales  at  Westminster,  who  succeeded  his  father  in  the 
English  crown  by  the  name  of  Henry  the  Fifth. 

Whilst  Richard  the  Second  reigned,  one  Owen*  ap 
Gruflfydh  Fychan,  descended  of  a  younger  son  of  Gruffydh 
ap  Madoc  Lord  of  Bromfield,  excited  great  national  interest. 
This  Owen  had  been  educated  in  one  of  the  Inns  of  Court, 
where  he  became  barrister  at  law,  and  was  afterwards  in 
very  great  esteem  and  credit,  served  King  Richard,  and 
continued  with  him  at  Flint  Castle,  till  at  length  the  king 
was  taken  by  Henry  Duke  of  Lancaster.  Between  this 
Owen  and  Reginald  Lord  Grey  of  Ruthyn  there  happened 
much  difference  touching  a  common  lying  between  the 
lordship  of  Ruthyn,  whereof  Reginald  was  owner,  and  the 
lordship  of  Glyndyfrdwy  in  the  possession  of  Owen,  whence 
he  borrowed  the  name  of  Glyndwr.f  During  the  reign  of 


*  He  was  the  son  of  Gruffydh  Fychan  ap  Gruffydh  o  Rnddalt  ap  Madog  Fychan  ap 
Madog  Glof  ap  Gruffydh  Varwn  Gwyn  Arglwydd  Dinas  Bran  ap  Madog  ap  Gruffydh 
Maelor  ap  Madog  ap  Meredydd  ap  Bleddjn  ap  Cynvyn,  Prince  of  Powys.  His  mother 
was  named  Helen,  and  was  the  eldest  daughter  of  Thomas  ap  Lhewelyn,  a  lineal 
descendant  of  Rhys  ap  Tewdwr,  Prince  of  South  Wales,  hy  Eleanor  G»">ch,  daughter  of 
Philip  ap  Ivor,  Lord  of  Iscoed,  in  Cardiganshire,  by  Catherine,  daughter  of  the  last 
Lhewelyn,  hy  Eleanor,  daughter  of  Simon  de  Montford. 

f  Mr.  Pennant  describes  the  estate  to  which  Owen  Glyndwr  retired,  as  situate  in  the 
valley  of  the  Dee,  three  miles  below  Corwen,  and  states,  that  the  spirited  chieftain  was 
there  visited  by  lolo  Goch,  and  gives  the  Bard's  description  (in  his  invitation  poem)  of 
Sycbarth,  the  seat  of  Glyndwr,  as  referring  to  the  above  estate.  *'  lolo  Goch,"  he  says, 
"  the  celeb. ated  poet  of  this  period  resided  here  for  some  time.  He  came,  on  a  pressing 
invitation  from  Owain,  who,  knowing  the  mighty  influence  of  this  order  of  men  over  the 
ancient  Britons,  made  his  house,  as  lolo  says,  a  sanctuary  for  bards.  He  made  them  the 
instruments  of  his  future  preparations,  and  to  prepare  the  minds  of  the  people  against  the 
time  of  his  intended  insurrection.  From  lolo  I  borrow  the  description  of  the  seat  of  the 
chieftain  when  it  was  in  full  splendour.  He  compares  it  in  point  of  magnificence  to 
Westminster  Abbey  ;  and  informs  us,  that  it  had  a  gate  house,  and  was  surrounded  with 
a  moat;  that  within  were  nine  halls,  each  furnUhed  with  a  wardrobe,  I  imagine  filled 
with  the  clothes  of  his  retainers,  according  to  the  custom  of  those  days.  Near  the  house, 
on  a  verdant  bank,  was  a  wooden  house,  supported  on  posts  and  covered  with  tiles  :  it 
contained  four  apartments,  each  subdivided  into  two,  designed  to  lodge  the  guests.  Here 
was  a  church,  in  form  of  a  cross,  with  several  chapels.  The  seat  was  surrounded  with 
every  convenience  for  good  living  and  every  support  to  hospitality  ;  a  park,  warren,  and 
pigeon  house;  a  mill,  orchard,  and  vineyard;  and  fish-pond,  filled  with  pike  and 
gwyniads — the  last  introduced  from  the  lake  at  Bala ;  a  heronry,  which  was  a  concomitant 
to  the  seat  of  every  great  man,  supplied  him  and  his  guests  with  game  for  the  sport  of 
falconry.  A  place  still  remains  that  retains  the  name  of  his  park:  it  extends  about  a  mile 
or  two  beyond  the  scite  of  his  house,  on  the  left-hand  of  the  valley.  The  vestiges  of  the 
house  are  small ;  the  moat  is  very  apparent ;  the  measurement  of  the  area  it  inclosed  is 



Richard  the  Second,  Owen,  as  being  a  courtier,  and  in  no 
mean  esteem  with  the  king,  overpowered  Reginald,  who  was 
neither  so  well  befriended  at  court,  nor  so  much  beloved  in 
the  country  as  Owen  was  ;  but  after  King  Richard  had  been 
deposed,  the  scene  was  altered,  and  Reginald  being  then 
better  befriended  than  Owen,  entered  upon  the  common, 
which  occasioned  Owen,  in  the  first  year  of  Henry  the 
Fourth,  to  make  his  complaint  in  parliament  against  him, 


46  paces  by  26  paces.  There  is  the  appearance  of  a  wall  on  the  outside,  which  was 
continued  to  the  top  of  a  great  mount,  on  which  stood  the  wooden  house.  On  the  other 
side,  but  at  a  greater  distance,  1  had  passed  by  another  mount  of  the  same  kind,  called 
Hendom,  which  probably  might  have  had  formerly  a  building  similar  to  that  described 
by  the  bard.  This,  perhaps,  was  a  station  of  a  guard,  to  prevent  surprise  or  insult  from 
the  English  side.  He  had  much  to  apprehend  from  the  neighbouring  fortress  of  Dinas 
Bran  and  its  appendages,  possessed  by  the  Earl  of  Arundel,  a  strenuous  supporter  of  the 
house  of  Lancaster.  The  bard  speaks  feelingly  of  the  wine,  the  ale,  the  braget,  and  the 
white  bread,  nor  does  he  forget  the  kitchen,  nor  tire  important  officer  the  cook ;  whose 
life  (when  in  the  foyal  service)  was  estimated  by  our  laws  at  a  hundred  and  twenty-six 
cows.  Such  was  the  hospitality  of  this  house,  that  the  place  of  porter  was  useless,  nor 
were  locks  or  bolls  known.  To  sum  up  all,  no  one  could  be  hungry  or  dry  at  Sycharth, 
the  name  of  the  place.  The  bard  pays  all  due  praise  to  the  lady  of  the  house  and  her 

A  gwraig  orau  o'r  gwragedd'! 
Gwynn  y  myd,  o'i  gwin  a'i  medd. 
Merch  eglur,  Llin  marchawglyw, 
Urddol,  hael,  o  reiol  ryw. 
A'i  blant,  a  ddeuant  bob  ddau 
Nythod  teg  o  bennaethau. 

His  wife  .the  best  of  wives ! 

Happy  am  I  in  her  wine  and  methrglin. 

Eminent  woman  of  a  knightly  family, 

Honorable,  beneficent,  noble. 

His  children  come  in  pairs, — 

A  beautiful  nest  of  chieftains. 

The  Reverend  Walter  Davies,  in  an  interesting  notice  of  the  parish  of  Llausilin,  states, 
4hat  Mr.  Pennant  is  incorrect  as  to  the  loco-position  of  the  Sycharth  of  lolo  Goch.  He 
says  that  "  Sycharth,1'  the  seat  of  Owain  Glyndwr,  described  by  lolo  Goch,  is  in  the 
parish  of  Llansilin,  about  12  miles  to  the  south  by  east  of  Glyndy/rdwy.  As  Owain  was 
baron  of  two  lordships,  no  one  will  deny  his  having  a  seat  in  each;  one  on  the  Dee,  in 
Glyndyfrdwy,  the  other  on  the  Cynllaith,  in  this  parish.  The  only  question  to  be 
decided  is — «  In  which  of  the  two  mansions  the  chieftain  resided  when  he  was  visited  by 
the  bard  who  wrote  the  poem  so  fully  descriptive  of  tire  house  and  its  appendages?  The 
scite  of  his  seat  in  Llansilin  has  been  called  Sycharth  time  out  of  mind,  and  is  not  known 
by  any  other  name:  the  whole  township  is  called  Sycharth  in  every  court  leet,  and  in 
every  parochial  document.  The  scite  of  his  -residence  in  Glyndyfrdwy,  or  the  moat 
surrounding  it,  is  called  Pwll  Eingl.  Since  the  publication  of  Mr.  Pennant's  tour  through 
Wales  in  the  year  1773,  the  idea  may  have  been  considerably  circulated,  that  this  spot  at 
Pwll  Eingl  must  have  been  the  Sycharth  described  by  loloGofh,  as  it  was  never  suspected 
that  the  illustrious  chieftain  had  any  other  baronial  mansion  than  that  in  the  valley 
which  gave  him  his  surname  of  .Glyndyfrdwy,  and  contractedly  Glyndwr.  At  both 
places  the  scite  is  surrounded  by  a  moat :  on  the  Dee  the  area  enclosed  by  it  is  46  paces 
by  26  paces.  "  It  is  not  on  a  tumulus  .but  the  ground  is  a  little  raised."  At  Sycharth 
the  scite  is  a  circle  of  30  paces  diameter,  on  the  summit  of  an  artificial  tumulus,  which  is 
surrounded  by  a  moat,  six  yards  wide  and  about  the  same  in  depth  from  the  top  of  the 
mound.  To  the  west,  bordering  on  the  moat,  is  a  propugnaculum  (or  rampart),  about  300 



for  thus  divesting  him  of  his  right.  No  redress  being  found, 
the  bishop  of  St.  Asaph  wished  the  lords  to  take  care,  that 
by  thus  slighting  his  complaint,  they  did  not  irritate  arid 
provoke  the  Welsh  to  an  insurrection,  to  which  some  of  the 
lords  replied,  that  they  did  not  fear  those  rascally  bare- 
footed people.  Glyndwr  therefore  perceiving  how  his  peti- 
tion was  slighted  in  parliament,  and  finding  no  other  method 
to  redress  himself,  having  several  friends  and  followers,  put 
himself  in  arms  against  Reginald,  and  meeting  him  in  the 
field,  overcame  and  took  him  prisoner,  and  spoiled  his 
lordship  of  Rnthyn.  Upon  this  many  resorted  to  him  from 
all  parts  of  Wales,  some  thinking  him  to  be  in  as  great 
favour  now  as  in  King  Richard's  days ;  others  persuading 
him  that  now  the  time  was  come  when  the  Britons  by  his 
means  might  again  recover  the  honour  and  liberties  of  their 
ancestors.  Reginald  being  thus  kept  prisoner,  was  very 
severely  treated  by  Owen,  to  terrify  him  into  compliance 
with  his  rebellious  proceedings,  and  was  not  permitted  to 
have  his  liberty  until  ten  thousand  marks  were  paid  for  his 
ransom,  whereof  six  thousand  were  to  be  paid  upon  the 
feast  of  St.  Martin,  in  the  fourth  year  of  Henry  the  Fourth ; 
and  he  was  also  to  deliver  up  his  eldest  son  with  some  other 
persons  of  quality  as  hostages  for  the  remainder.  The  king, 
at  the  humble  suit  of  Reginald,  seeing  no  other  way  for  his 
enlargement,  acceded  thereto,  authorising  Sir  William  de 


paces  from  point  to  point  and  about  30  paces  over,  for  the  purpose  of  defending  the 
bridge  over  the  moat  when  necessary ;  the  whole  on  the  summit  of  a  natural  round 
hillock  shelving  on  all  sides.  «  On  the  Dee,  adjoining  the  scite  of  the  palace,  are  two 
inclosures;  one  is  called  Pare  Isa,  the  other  Pare.  The  Pare  Isa  is  small,  but  the  other 
Pare  is  from  70  to  80  acres.  In  Cynllaith,  the  next  house  to  Sycharth,  on  the  south-east, 
is  a  place  called  Pare  Sycharth,  with  a  far.m  attached  to  it.  This  is  at  the  southern  end 
of  an  extensive  wood,  which  (occupies  the  escarpment  of  a  rocky  hill,  called  Pare 
Sycharth,  and  may  be  the  parccwning  (the  rabbit  warren)  of  the  bard.  At  the  northern 
end  of  the  same  wood  are  a  few  houses  called  Pentre  y  Cwn,  where  the  master  of  the 
buck-hounds  to  his  barony  resided,  also  his  assistants.  At  Sycharth  there  is,  on  the 
rivulet  jCynliaith,  close  at  the  foot  of  the  hillock,  whereon  the  palace  stood,  a  mill,  formerly 
called  Melin  Sycharth,  but,  owing  to  the  grist-mill  being  lately  converted  into  a  fulling- 
miJl,  it  is  now  called  Pandy-Sycharth.  On  the  Dee  there  are  no  traces  of  fish-ponds;  at 
Sycharth,  between  the  palace  and  the  wood,  the  ichnography  of  two  fish-ponds,  one  above 
the  other,  is  still  visible,  though  now  much  filled  with  an  accumulation,  in  a  state  of  transi- 
tion from  aquatic  vegetables  into  an  imperfect  peat :  this  matter  is  several  feet  deep  on 
the  original  base  of  the  ponds.  The  water  could  not  be  very  abundant ;  and  what 
formerly  supplied  the  ponds  has  now  been  diverted  uito  other  channels  by  the  operation 
of  draining.  I  trust  that  it  will  now  be  conceded  by  our  neighbours  on  the  banks  of  the 
Dec  that  Owain  Glyndwr  was,  at  least,  an  inhabitant  of  Cjinllaith  ;  especially  at  the  time 
he  was  visited  by  lolo  Goch,  who,  in  after  times,  by  his  war  songs,  roused  the  hero  and 
his  countrymen  to  arms.  How  long  his  mansions  stood  at  Glyndyfrdwy  and  Cynllaith 
after  the  fall  of  the  owner  is  not  known  ;  as  they  were  of  timber,  and  not  inhabited,  they 
must  soon  have  fallen  to  decay.  There  are  no  vestiges  at  either  place.  The  scite  at 
Sycharth  has  of  late  been  ploughed  many  times,  without  having  any  relics  discovered. 
A  few  nails  and  fragments  of  stones,  bearing  the  marks  of  ignition,  are  the  only  remains 
that  I  saw.  It  is  not  probable  that  the  house  was  burned,  as  the  ploughed  soil  contains 
no  fragments  of  charcoal. 


Roos,  Sir  Richard  de  Grey,  Sir  William  de  Willoughby,  Sir 
William  le  Zouche,  Sir  Hugh  Huls,  as  also  John  Harvey, 
William  Vans,  John  Lee,  John  Langford,  Thomas  Payne, 
and  John  Elnestow,  to  treat  with  Owen  and  his  council,  and 
to  determine  as  to  what  they  should  conceive  most  expedient 
and  necessary  to  be  done  for  his  redemption :  whereupon, 
they  consenting  to  give  the  sum  demanded  by  Glyndwr  for 
his  deliverance,  the  king  gave  licence  to  Robert  Braybroke 
bishop  of  London,  as  also  to  Sir  Gerard  Braybroke  the 
father,  and  Sir  Gerard  the  son,  then  feoffees  of  divers  lord- 
ships for  this  Reginald,  to  sell  the  manor  of  Herteleigh,  in 
the  county  of  Kent,  towards  the  raising  of  that  money :  and 
the  better  to  enable  him  to  pay  so  great  a  fine,  the  king  was 
pleased  to  grant,  that  whereas  it  was  enacted,  that  such 
persons  who  were  owners  of  lands  in  Ireland,  and  did  not 
there  reside,  should  for  such  their  neglect  forfeit  two  parts 
of  the  profits  of  them  to  the  king ;  that  notwithstanding  this 
act,  he  should  forfeit  nothing  for  non-residence  there  during 
the  term  of  six  years  next  ensuing. 

This  success  over  the  Lord  Grey,  together  with  the 
numerous  resort  of  the  Welsh  to  him,  and  the  favourable 
interpretation  of  the  prophecies  of  Merlin,  which  some  con- 
strued to  the  advantage  of  Owen,  made  the  swelling  mind  of 
Glyndwr  overflow  its  banks,  and  gave  him  some  hopes  of 
restoring  the  dominion  of  this  island  again  to  the  Britons. 
Wherefore  he  attacked  the  Earl  of  March,  who  met  him 
with  a  numerous  party  of  Herefordshire  men;  and  when 
they  came  in  contact,  the  Welshmen  proved  too  powerful, 
and  having  killed  above  a  thousand  men  of  the  English, 
they  took  the  Earl  of  March  prisoner.  King  Henry,  upon 
this,  was  frequently  requested  to  ransom  the  Earl,  but  to  no 
purpose ;  for  whether  by  reason  that  Mortimer  had  a  better 
title  to  the  crown  than  himself,  he  being  the  next  heir  in 
blood  after  King  Richard,  who  was  as  yet  living,  or  because 
of  some  other  private  reason,  the  king  would  never  give  ear 
to  any  proposal  for  his  redemption,  alleging  that  he  wilfully 
threw  himself  into  the  hands  of  Glyndwr.  About  the 
middle  of  August,  however,  to  correct  the  presumptuous 
attempts  of  the  Welsh,  the  king  went  in  person  with  a  great 
army  into  Wales ;  but  by  reason  of  the  extraordinary  con- 
tinuance of  bad  weather,  which  some  attributed  to  the  magic 
of  Glyndwr,  he  was  glad  to  return  safe. 

The  Earl  of  March  perceiving  that  he  was  not  likely  to 
obtain  his  liberty  by  the  means  of  King  Henry,  either  out  of 
compliance,  by  reason  of  his  tedious  captivity,  or  on  account 
of  affection  to  the  young  lady,  agreed  to  take  part  with 



Owen   against   the   King  of  England,   and   to   marry   his 
daughter;  with  them  joined  the  Earl  of  Worcester,  and  his 
brother  the  Earl  of  Northumberland,  with  his  son  the  valiant 
Lord  Percy ;  who  conspiring  to  depose  the  King  of  Eng- 
land, in  the  house  of  the  archdeacon  of  Bangor,  by  their 
deputies    divided    the    realm    amongst   them,    causing    a 
tripartite  indenture  to  be  made,  and  to  be  sealed  with  each 
one's  seal :  by  which  covenant  all  that  country  lying  between 
the  Severn  and  the  Trent,  southward,  was  assigned  to  the 
Earl  of  March  ;  all  Wales,  and  the  lands  beyond  the  Severn, 
westward,  were  appointed  to  GJyndwr;  and  all  from  the 
Trent  northward  to  the  Lord  Percy.     This  was  done  (as 
some  said)   through  a  foolish  credit  they  gave  to  a  vain 
allegorical  prophecy,  as  though  King  Henry  was  the  exe- 
crable mouldwarp,  and  they  three  the  dragon,  the  lion,  and 
the  wolf  which  should  pull  him  down,  and  distribute  his 
Jdngdom   among  themselves.      After    they  had  exhibited 
articles  of  their  grievances  to  King  Henry,  and  divulged 
their  reasons  for  taking  up  arms,  they  at  length  marched 
with  all  their  power  towards  Shrewsbury  to  fight  the  king 
and  his  forces,  depending  mainly  upon  the  arrival  of  Glyn- 
dwr  and  his  Welshmen :  but  the  matter  was  gone  so  far, 
that  whether  he  came  in  or  no  they  must  fight,  and  so  both 
armies  being  confronted,  the  king's  party  prevailed,  young 
Percy  being  slain  upon  the  spot,  and  besides  most  of  the 
English  of  quality,  Douglas,  who  with  a  party  of  Scotch 
had  come  to  the  aid  of  the  confederates,  was  taken  prisoner, 
but  afterwards  honourably  set  at  liberty  by  the  intercession 
of  the  prince  of  Wales.      In  the  mean  time  the   Earl   of 
Northumberland    was    marching    forward    with    a    great 
party  from  the  North;    but  the  king  having  settled   mat- 
ters about  Shrewsbury,  proceeded  to  York,  and  sending 
to  him  to  lay  down  his  arms,  he  voluntarily  submitted  and 
dismissed  his  forces.     Then  the  king,  returning  from  York- 
shire, determined  to  pass  over  to  North  Wales  to  chastise 
the  presumptuous  practices  of  the  disobedient  Welsh,  who, 
after  his  departure  from  Shrewsbury,  had  made  inroads 
into  the  marches,  and  done  much  injury   to  his  English 
subjects;  but  other  business  of  greater  consequence  inter- 
vening, he  detached  his  son  the  prince  of  Wales,  who  took 
the  castle  of  Aberystwyth,  which  was  soon  again  retaken  by 
Owen   Glyndwr,    who   placed  in  it  a  strong  garrison  of 
Welshmen.      In    the   battle  of  Huske,  fought  upon    the 
fifteenth  of  March,  the  Welsh  received  a  very  serious  blow 
from  the  prince's  men,  Glyndwr's  son  being  taken  prisoner, 
jbesides  fifteen  hundred  others  taken  and  slain.     After  this, 



hear  little  of  Glyndwr,  excepting  that  he  continued  to  vex 
and  harass  the  English  upon  the  marches,  to  the  tenth  year 
of  King  Henry's  reign,  when  he  is  stated  to  have  miserably 
ended  his  life;  being,  as  Hollingshed  reporteth,  towards 
his  latter  days,  driven  to  such  extremity,  that,  despairing  of 
all  comfort,  he  fled  and  lurked  in  caves  and  other  the  most 
solitary  places,  fearing  to  shew  his  face  to  any  creature,  till 
at  length  being  starved  for  hunger  and  lack  of  sustenance, 
he  miserably  ended  his  life.* 

These  rebellious  practices  of  Glyndwr,  highly  exasperated 
King   Henry   against    the   Welsh,    insomuch   that   several 
unmerciful  laws  were  enacted,  relating  to  Wales,  which  in 
effect  destroyed  all  the  the  liberties  of  the  Welsh  subjects. 
They  were  made  incapable  of  purchasing  any  lands,  or  to 
be  elected   members   of  any  county  or   borough,  and   to 
undertake  any  office,  whether  civil  or  military,  in  any  town 
incorporated.      If  any   suit  at  law   happened  betwixt  an 
Englishman   and  a  Welshman,   the  former   could   not  be 
convicted,  but  by  the  sentence  of  an  English  judge,  and  the 
verdict  of  an  English  jury ;    besides  that  any  Englishman 
who  married   a  Welshwoman   was  thereby  forthwith  dis- 
franchised from  all  the  liberties  of  an  English  subject.     It 
was   further  enacted,    that    no    Welshman    should  be  in 
possession  of  any  castle,  or  other  place  of  strength,  and  that 
no  victuals  or  armour  should  be  brought  into  Wales,  with- 
out a  special  warrant  from  the  king  or  his  council ;    and 
further,  that  no  Welshman  was  capable  of  undertaking  the 
office  of  justice,  chamberlain,  sheriff,  or  any  other  place  of 
trust  in  any  part  of  Wales,   notwithstanding  any  patent  or 
license  heretofore  given  to  the  contrary  :   these,  with  many 
other  most  rigorous  and  unjust  laws,  particularly  that  forbid- 
ding any  Welshman  to  bring  up  his  children  to  learning,  or 
to  bind  them  apprentices  to  any  trade  or  occupation,  were 
enacted  by  the  king  against  the  Welsh;   so  that  nothing 
appeared  to  satisfy  his  displeasure,  but  that  a  whole  nation 
should  be  wrongfully   oppressed,  for  the  fault  and  mis-  „ 

carriage  of  one  person.  It  might  have  been  supposed  that 
this  was  not  a  politic  method  of  securing  a  nation  in  its 
allegiance,  which,  upon  slighter  affronts,  had  been  ac- 
customed to  defend  its  privileges ;  and,  therefore,  the  quiet 
disposition  of  the  Welsh  about  this  time  has  been  attributed 
to  the  moderation  of  Henry  the  Fifth,  who  within  a  little 
time  succeeded  his  father  in  the  crown  of  England. 


*  There  is,  however,  good  authority  for  believing  that  Owain,  passing  his  time  in, 
seclusion,  ended  his  days  with  one  of  his  daughters,  who  was  married  and  resided  in  the 
marches  of  South  Wales,  on  the  Herefordshire  border. 


Contemporary  with  Glyndwr  was  Sir  David  Gam,  (so  called 
because  he  had  but  one  eye,)  the  son  of  Lhewelyn  ap  Howel 
Vaughan,  of  Brecknock,  by  Mawd,  the  daughter  of  lefan  ap 
Rhys  ap  Ifor  of  Elvel.  He  was  a  staunch  partizan  of  the 
Duke  of  Lancaster,  and  for  that  reason  became  a  mortal 
enemy  to  Glyndwr,  who  having  been  educated,  as  before 
stated,  at  one  of  the  inns  of  Court,  was  preferred  to  the 
service  of  King  Richard  the  Second,  who,  as  Walsingham 
says,  made  him  his  Scutifer,  or  shield-bearer:  and  being 
informed  that  his  master  Richard  was  deposed  and  mur- 
dered, and  withal  being  provoked  by  several  wrongs  and 
affronts  done  him  by  his  neighbour  the  Lord  Grey,  of 
Ruthyn,  whom  King  Henry  greatly  countenanced,  and 
looking  upon  Henry  as  an  usurper,  he  caused  himself  to  be 
proclaimed  Prince  of  Wales.  To  give  a  better  colour  to 
the  matter,  he  feigned  himself  to  be  descended,  by  a 
daughter,  from  Lhewelyn  ap  Gruffydh,  the  last  prince; 
whereas,  in  truth,  he  came  paternally  but  from  a  younger 
brother  of  the  house  of  Powys  :  and,  as  ambition  has  no 
moderation,  so  Glyndwr  for  a  time  acted  the  part  of  a 
prince,  and  summoned  a  parliament  to  meet  at 
Machynlleth,*  whither  the  nobility  and  gentry  of  Wales 
appeared,,  and  among  the  rest  Sir  David  Gam,  but  not 
upon  the  same  design  with  the  rest,  for  it  was  his  intention 
in  this  meeting  to  murder  Glyndwr :  but  the  plot  being 
discovered,  and  Sir  David  secured,  he  would  have  been 
immediately  executed,  had  not  Glyndwr's  best  friends,  and 
the  greatest  supporters  of  his  cause,  pleaded  in  his  behalf, 
by  whose  intercession  he  was  prevailed  upon  to  grant  Sir 
David  both  his  life  and  liberty,  on  condition  he  would  ever 
after  continue  true  and  loyal  to  him.  Sir  David  promised 
very  loudly,  but  with  the  reservation  never  to  perform ;  for 
as  soon  as  he  came  to  his  own  country,  where  he  was  a 
person  of  very  considerable  sway  and  interest,  he  greatly 
annoyed  and  molested  those  that  in  any  way  favoured  or 
adhered  to  Glyndwr.  While  Sir  David  lay  in  prison  at 
Machynlleth,  for  his  attempt  against  Owen's  life,  this 
Englyn  was  made  upon  him. 

Dafydd  Gam  dryglam  dreigl,  iti  yn  wan  frwydr, 

Fradwr  Rissiart  Bhrenin, 

Llwyr  y  rhoes  Diawl  (hawn  hwyl  Flin 

Y  fath  ystad)  ei  fys  ith  Din. 

i.  e.     David  Gam  thou  wilt  be  a  wanderer  and  an  ill  end 


*  The  building,  now  converted  into  a   stable,  in  which  this  memorable  synod   was 
convened,  is  still  to  be  seen. 


will  come  to  tliee.  Thou  wilt  be  weak  in  battle,  thou 
traitor  to  King  Richard.  So  eagerly  vexatious  in  thy 
station  that  the  devil  wholly  entered  thy  heart. 

Glyndwr  having  received  information  that  Sir  David 
Gam,  contrary  to  the  promise  he  had  made  at  his  release, 
endeavoured  by  all  means  to  destroy  his  interest  among  the 
Welsh,  entered  the  marches,  and,  among  other  tokens  of  his 
indignation,  burned  the  house  of  Sir  David,  and  as  the 
report  goes,  calling  to  him  one  of  Sir  David's  tenants,  spake 
to  him  thus  merrily  in  verse : — 

O  Gvveli  di  wr  coeh  Gam 
Yn  ymofyn  y  Girnigwen 
Dywed  ei  bod  hi  Tan  y  Lan 
A  nod  y  glo  ar  ei  Phenn. 

i.  e.  If  thou  seest  a  red-haired,  squint-eyed*  man  looking 
for  the  lost  sheep,  tell  him  she  is  below  the  hill,  and  he  may 
know  her  as  she  is  marked  with  fire. 

But  Sir  David  had  the  good  fortune  to  escape  his 
vengeance,  and  was  constrained  to  retire  to  England,  where 
he  lived  for  the  most  part  at  court,  till  the  death  of  Glyn- 

When  King  Henry  the  Fifth  went  with  an  army  to  France 
against  the  French  king,  Sir  David  Gam  brought  into  his 
service  a  numerous  party  of  stout  and  valourous  Welshmen, 
who  upon  all  occasions  evinced  their  courage  and  resolution. 
In  the  battle  of  Agincourt,  news  being  brought  to  the  king 
that  the  French  army  was  advancing  towards  him,  and  that 
they  were  exceedingly  numerous,  he  detached  Captain 
Gam,  to  observe  their  motions,  and  to  review  their  number. 
The  Captain,  having  narrowly  eyed  the  French,  found  them 
to  be  twice  the  number  of  the  English,  but  not  being  in  the 
least  dismayed  at  such  a  multitude,  he  returned  to  the  king, 
who  enquiring  of  him  what  the  number  of  the  French  might 
be,  he  made  answer,  "  An't  please  you  my  liege,  they  are 
enough  to  be  killed,  enough  to  run  away,  and  enough  to  be 
taken  prisoners."  King  Henry  was  well  pleased,  and  much 
encouraged  with  this  resolute  and  undaunted  answer  of  Sir 
David,  whose  tongue  did  not  express  more  valour  than  his 
hands  performed:  for  in  the  heat  of  battle,  the  king's 
person  being  in  danger,  Sir  David  charged  the  enemy 
with  that  eagerness  and  masculine  bravery,  that  they  were 
glad  to  give  way,  and  thus  secured  the  king,  though  with 
the  loss  of  much  blood,  and  also  with  the  loss  of  his  life, 


*  Squint-eyed  is  Gam  in  Welsh,  from  which  he  took  his  name,  and  his  family  continues 
it  to  this  day,  and  all  squint  with  one  eye.  Sir  David  Gam  was  the  person  whom  Shak- 
speare  described  in  the  character  of  Captain  Fluelin. — Note  to  the  original  edition. 


himself  and  his  son-in-law  Roger  Vaughan,  with  his  kins- 
man Walter  Llwyd  of  Brecknock,  having  received  their 
mortal  wounds  in  that  encounter.  When  the  king  heard  of 
their  condition,  and  that  they  were  past  all  hope  of  recovery, 
he  came  to  them,  and  in  recompense  of  their  good  services, 
knighted  them  all  three  in  the  field,  where  they  soon  after 
died ;  and  thus  ended  the  life,  but  not  the  fame,  of  the 
signally  valiant  Sir  David  Gam. 

Edward  of  Westminster,  the  sole  issue  of  that  unfortunate 
prince  King  Henry  the  Sixth,  by  Margaret,,  the  daughter 
of  Rayner  Duke  of  Anjou,  and  titular  king  of  Jerusalem, 
Sicily,  and  Arragon,  was  created  Prince  of  Wales,  in  a 
parliament  held  at  Westminster  on  the  fifteenth  day  of 
March,  in  the  thirty-second  year  of  his  father's  reign. 
When  the  battle  was  lost  at  Tewkesbury,  this  young  prince 
purposed  to  have  made  his  escape  by  flight,  but  being 
unfortunately  taken,  and  brought  to  the  presence  of  King 
Edward  the  Fourth,  who  then  sat  upon  the  throne,  he  made 
such  resolute  and  unexpected  replies  that  he  smote  him  on 
the  mouth  with  his  gauntlet ;  and  then  tvis  brother  Richard 
(the  Crook-back)  ran  him  into  the  heart  with  his  dagger.* 

Edward,  born  in  the  Sanctuary  at  Westminster,  the 
eldest  son  of  King  Edward  the  Fourth,  was,  after  his 
father's  expulsion  out  of  England,  in  the  forty-ninth  year  of 
King  Henry  the  Sixth,  created  Prince  of  Wales  and  jCarl  of 
Chester,  in  the  eleventh  year  of  his  father's  reign.  On  the 
death  of  Edward  the  Fourth,  this  young  prince  being  then 
at  Ludlqw,  in  the  marches  of  Wales,  was  immediately  ,sent 
for  to  London,  and  proclaimed  king  of  England,  but  never 
lived  to  be  crowned;  for  his  uncle  Richard  Duke  of  Glou- 
cester, who  was  appointed  his  protector,  most  villainously 
procured  that  he  should  be  murdered,  together  with  his 
brother  the  Duke  of  York,  and  afterwards  was  himself 
proclaimed  and  crowned  king, 

Edward  the  Fourth,  in  his  wars  against  Henry  the  Sixth, 
was  very  much  assisted  by  the  Welsh;  in  recompense  of 
which  service  he  purposed  to  reform  matters  in  Wales,  so 
that  the  intolerable  oppression  which  they  had  hitherto 
endured  should  be  removed:  to  which  end  he  meant  to 
establish  a  court  within  the  said  Principality,  and  consti- 
tuted John  bishop  of  Worcester  president  of  the  prince's 
council  in  the  marches ;  who,  together  with  Anthony  Earl 
of  Rivers,  sat  in  the  town-hall  of  Shrewsbury,  and  consti- 
tuted certain  ordinances  for  the  public  good  and  tranquillity 


*  This  account,  the  reader  will  observe,  differs  from  that  of  the  English  historians  in  a 
slight  degree,  inasmuch  as  they  make  the  Duke  of  Clarence  and  others  participators  in 
this  murderous  tragedy. 


of  that  place:  but  the  matter  proceeded  no  farther,  for  the 
troubles  and  disquietness  of  his  kingdom  coming  heavily 
upon  him,  and  the  brevity  of  his  reign  after  his  establish- 
ment not  permitting,  he  was  forced  to  leave  that  to  others 
which  he  had  himself  intended  to  bring  about. 

Edward,  born  at  Middleham,  near  Richmond,  in  the 
county  of  York,  the  only  son  of  King  Richard  the  Third, 
was  at  ten  years  of  age  created  by  his  father  Prince  of 
Wales,  but  he  died  soon  after. 

Arthur,  the  eldest  son  of  King  Henry  the  Seventh,  born 
at  Winchester,  was  in  the  seventh  year  of  his  father's  reign 
created  Prince  of  Wales.  About  the  fifteenth  year  of  his 
age,  being  then  newly  married  to  Katherine  the  Infanta  of 
Spain,  he  was  sent  by  his  father  into  Wales,  that  by  his 
presence  he  might  the  better  keep  that  country  in  awe.* 
With  him  King  Henry  sent  Dr.  William  Smith,  afterwards 
made  Bishop  of  London,  as  president  of  his  council,  to- 
gether with  Sir  Richard  Pool,  his  chamberlain,  Sir  Henry 
Vernon,  Sir  Richard  Crofts,  Sir  David  Philip,  Sir  William 
Udal,  Sir  Thomas  Englefield,  Sir  Peter  Newton,  and 
others,  to  be  his  counsellors  and  directors  in  his  manage- 
ment of  affairs;  but  the  prince  had  not  continued  long 
there  before  he  fell  sick  at  his  castle  at  Ludlow,  of  which 
indisposition  he  shortly  after  died,  and  wras  buried  with 
great  solemnity  in  the  cathedral  church  of  Worcester.  The 
creating  of  his  brother  Henry  (Duke  of  York)  Prince  of 
Wales  in  his  stead  was  deferred  for  about  the  space  of  a 
month,  to  discover  whether  the  Lady  Katherine  was  with 
child  by  Prince  Arthur :  but  when  it  was  ascertained  that 
she  had  not  conceived,  on  the  eighteenth  day  of  February, 
in  the  nineteenth  year  of  his  father  King  Henry  the  Seventh's 
reign,  Henry  Duke  of  York  was  created  Prince  of  Wales. 

King  Henry  the  Seventh,  being  by  his  grandfather  Owen 
Tudor  of  Welsh  descent,  and  having  sufficiently  experi- 
enced the  affection  of  the  Welsh  towards  him,  first  of  those 
who,  upon  his  first  landing,  opportunely  joined  him  under 
Sir  Rhys  ap  Thomas,  and  then  of  those,  who  under  the 
command  of  Sir  William  Stanley,  Lord  of  Bromfield,  Yale, 
and  Chirkland,  aided  him  in  Bosworth  Field,  could  not  in 
honour  and  equity  but  bear  some  regard  to  the  miserable 
state  and  condition  of  the  Welsh  under  the  English  govern- 
ment :  and  therefore  this  prudent  prince,  finding  the  calami- 
ties of  the  Welsh  to  be  insupportable,  and  seeing  what 
grievous  and  unmerciful  laws  were  enacted  against  them  by 
his  predecessors,  took  occasion  to  redress  and  reform  the 


*  Wokins,  p.  789. 


same,  and  granted  to  the  Welsh  a  charter  of  liberty  and 
immunity,  whereby  they  were  released  from  the  cruel  op- 
pression which,  since  their  subjection  to  the  English 
government,  they  had  most  cruelly  sustained.  Seeing  also 
that  the  birth  and  quality  of  his  grandfather  (Owen  Tudor) 
was  called  in  question,  and  that  he  was  by  many  upbraided 
of  being  of  mean  and  ignoble  parentage,  King  Henry 
directed  a  commission  to  the  Abbot  of  Lhan  Egwest,  Dr. 
Owen  Pool,  Canon  of  Hereford,  and  John  Kins:,  Herald  at 
Arms,  to  make  inquisition  concerning  the  pedigree  of  the 
said  Owen ;  who  coming  to  Wales,  made  a  diligent  enquiry 
into  this  matter,  and  by  the  assistance  of  Sir  John  Leyaf, 
Guttyn  Owen  (Bardh),  Gruffydh  ap  Lhewelyn  ap  Efan 
Fychan,  and  others,  in  the  consultation  of  the  British  books 
of  pedigrees,  they  drew  up  an  exact  genealogy  of  Owen 
Tudor,  which  upon  their  return  they  presented  to  the  king. 

Edward,  son  to  Henry  the  Eighth  by  the  Lady  Jane 
Seymour,  his  third  wife,  was  born  at  Hampton  Court  on 
the  twelfth  of  October;  and  upon  the  eighteenth  of  the  said 
month  was  created  Prince  of  Wales,  Duke  of  Cornwall,  and 
Earl  of  Chester. 

King  Henry  the  Seventh  had  already  abrogated  those 
intolerable  laws  which  the  former  kings  of  England,  particu- 
larly Henry  the  Fourth,  had  made  against  the  Welsh  ;  and 
now,  King  Henry  the  Eighth,  willing  to  make  a  complete 
reformation  of  what  his  father  had  wisely  begun,  thought  it 
necessary,  for  the  good  and  tranquillity  of  both  nations,  to 
make  the  Welsh  subject  to  the  same  laws  and  the  same  form 
of  government  with  the  English.  He  understood  that  the 
usual  hostilities  and  depredations  were  still  continued  and 
kept  up  by  both  sides  upon  the  borders ;  and  though  his 
father  had  eased  the  yoke  of  the  Welsh,  yet  he  perceived 
that  it  contributed  but  little  towards  the  abolition  of  that 
inveterate  and  implacable  envy  and  animosity  which  raged 
in  the  marches:  therefore,  to  remedy  this  otherwise  una- 
voidable evil,  he  concluded  that  the  only  effectual  method 
was  to  incorporate  the  Welsh  with  the  English,  so  that 
they,  being  subject  to  the  same  laws,  might  equally  fear  the 
A.D.  1536.  violation  of  them.  Accordingly,  in  the  twenty-seventh  year 
of  his  reign,  an  Act  of  Parliament  passed  for  that  purpose, 
which,  together  with  another  Act  in  the  thirty-fifth  year  of 
his  reign,  made  a  complete  incorporation  of  the  Welsh  with 
the  English,  which  union  has  had  that  blessed  effect  that  it 
has  in  course  of  time  dispelled  all  those  unnatural  differ- 
ences which  were  previously  so  frequent  and  irreconcilable. 

When  the  Reformation  was  first  established  in  Wales  it 



was  a  great  inconvenience  to  the  common  people,  who  were 
nearly  all  unacquainted  with  the  English  tongue,  that  the 
Bible  was  not  transtated  into  their  native  language.  Queen 
Elizabeth  was  soon  aware  of  the  inconvenience  which  the 
Welsh  suffered  for  want  of  such  a  translation;  and  therefore, 
in  the  eighth  year  of  her  reign,  an  Act  of  Parliament  was  A.D.  1569. 
passed,  whereby  the  Bishops  of  Hereford,  St.  David,  St. 
Asaph,  Bangor,  and  Llandaff,  were  ordered  to  take  care 
that  the  Bible,  containing  the  Old  and  New  Testaments, 
with  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer,  and  Administration  of 
the  Sacraments,  should  be  truly  and  with  precision  trans- 
lated into  the  British  or  Welsh  tongue,  and  that  the  same 
so  translated,  being  by  them  perused  and  approved,  should 
be  printed  to  such  a  number  at  least,  as  that  every  cathedral, 
collegiate  and  parish  church,  and  chapel  of-ease,  within 
those  dioceses  where  that  tongue  was  vulgarly  spoken, 
might  be  supplied  before  the  first  of  March,  in  the  year 
1576 :  and  from  that  time  forward  that  the  Welsh  Divine 
Service  should  be  used  in  the  British  tongue  in  all  places 
throughout  those  dioceses,  where  the  Welsh  was  commonly 
spoken,  after  the  same  manner  as  it  was  used  in  the  English 
tongue ;  and  that  the  charge  of  procuring  the  said  Bible 
and  Common  Prayer  should  be  equally  apportioned  betwixt 
the  parson  and  the  parish,  each  of  those  two  parties  being 
obliged  to  pay  one-half  of  the  expense ;  and  that  the  price 
of  the  book  should  be  set  by  the  aforesaid  bishops,  or  by 
three  of  them  at  the  least.  This  act  of  parliament  was  not 
punctually  observed ;  for  the  Old  Testament  was  wholly 
omitted,  and  only  the  New,  with  the  Book  of  Common 
Prayer  and  Administration  of  the  Sacraments,  then  trans- 
lated, which  translation  was  chiefly  owing  to  Richard  bishop 
of  St.  David,  who  was  assisted  by  William  Salusbury,  a 
perfect  critic  in  the  Welsh  tongue,  and  one  excellently  con- 
versant in  all  British  antiquities:  but  in  the  year  1588, 
Dr.  William  Morgan,  first  bishop  of  Llandaff,  and  then  of 
St.  Asaph,  undertook  the  translation  of  the  whole  Bible; 
and  by  the  help  of  the  Bishops  of  St.  Asaph  and  Bangor, 
Gabriel  Goodman,  Dean  of  Westminster,  David  Powel, 
D.  D.  Edmund  Price,  Archdeacon  of  Merioneth,  and 
Richard  Vaughan,  he  effectually  finished  it.  This  was  of 
great  advantage  to  the  Welsh,  who  could  now  read  the  whole 
Scripture  in  their  own  native  tongue ;  by  which  means  they 
received  a  clearer  demonstration  of  the  corruptions  of  the 
Church  of  Rome,  when  they  saw  many  of  their  principles 
apparently  contradicting,  and  others  not  very  firmly  founded 
upon,  the  Holy  Scriptures:  and  on  the  other  hand  they 



perceived  the  necessity  and  advantage  of  the  Reformation, 
for  they  easily  discovered  that  the  whole  doctrine  of  the 
Church  of  England  was  sound  and  orthodox,  and  that  they 
were  now  happily  delivered  from  that  popish  slavery  under 
which  their  forefathers  ignorantly  laboured ;  and  therefore, 
being  convinced  of  the  truth  of  their  religion,  they  became, 
and  continued  generally,  very  strict  adherents  to,  and  firm 
observers  of,  the  doctrine  and  discipline  of  this  church. 

Here,  by  the  bye,  I  cannot  but  observe  what  a  reverend 
writer  has  lately  insinuated,  relating  to  the  Christian  religion 
planted  in  Wales :  for  that  learned  person,  in  his  funeral 
sermon  upon  Mr.  Gouge,  would  fain  induce  the  world  to 
believe  that  Christianity  was  very  corrupt  and  imperfect 
among  the  Welsh,  before  it  was  purified  by  that  (whom  he 
terms  apostolical)  man :  whereas  it  is  notoriously  evident, 
that  since  the  Reformation  was  settled  in  that  country,  and 
the  Bible,  with  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer,  was  translated 
into  the  Welsh  tongue,  no  pla^e  has  been  more  exact  in 
keeping  to  the  strict  rubrick  and  constitution  of  the  Church 
of  England,  both  as  to  the  substance  and  form  of  worship. 
But  what  may  more  truly  be  attributed  to  Mr.  Gouge  is, 
that  since  his  travels  into  Wales,  and  the  propagating  of  his 
doctrine  among  the  ignorant  of  that  country,  dissent,  which 
before  had  scarcely  taken  root,  hath  as  it  were  daily 

Henry,  eldest  son  of  King  James  the  First,  being  arrived 
at  the  age  of  seventeen  years,  was  created  prince  of  Wales 
on  the  thirtieth  of  May,  in  1610,  but  he  dying  of  a  malig- 
nant fever  about  two  years  after,  his  brother  Charles,  then 
fifteen  years  of  age,  was  created  Prince  in  his  room  in  1615. 
This  new  creation  was  celebrated  in  the  town  of  Ludlow, 
and  in  the  city  of  London,  with  great  triumph ;  and  the 
more  to  honour  this  solemnity,  the  king  made  twenty-five 
Knights  of  the  Bath,  all  of  them  peers  or  the  sons  of  peers; 
and  the  Inns  of  Court,  to  express  their  joy,  elected  out  of 
their  body  forty  of  the  principal  gentlemen  to  perform 
solemn  justs  and  barriers,  as  in  the  tournaments  of  former 

Charles,  eldest  son  of  King  Charles  the  First,  by 
Henrietta  Maria,  daughter  to  King  Henry  the  Fourth  of 
France,  was  born  May  29,  1630,  and  afterwards  created 
Prince  of  Wales. 

Subsequent  to  this  period,  the  title  of  Prince  of  Wales 
has  been  borne  by  several  of  the  British  Princes  when  next 
in  succession  to  the  Throne ;  and  having  been  borne  by  our 
late  most  gracious  Sovereign  King  George  the  Fourth,  until 



he  commenced  his  reign  on  the  death  of  his  revered  father, 
which  took  place  the  29th  day  of  January,  1820,  it  has 
since  that  period  remained  in  abeyance. 

Since  the  happy  incorporation  of  the  Welsh  with  the 
English,  the  history  of  both  nations  as  well  as  the  people 
is  united;  and  therefore  I  shall  not  repeat  that  which  is  so 
copiously  and  frequently  delivered  by  the  English  his- 
torians ;  but  shall  conclude  with  Dr.  Heylyn,^-"  That  since 
the  Welsh  have  been  incorporated  with  the  English,  they 
have  shelved  themselves  most  loyal,  hearty,  and  affection- 
ate subjects  of  the  state;  cordially  devoted  to  their  king, 
and  zealous  in  defence  of  their  laws,  liberties,  and  reli- 
gion, as  well  as  any  of  the  best  of  their  fellow -subjects." 




I  HIS  county  is  the  most  rugged  and  truly  alpine  district  in 
Wales :  it  is  surrounded  by  the  sea  on  all  sides  except  the  east,,  where 
it  joins  Denbighshire,  and  a  part  of  the  south  contiguous  to  Meri- 
onethshire. Its  figure  is  very  irregular,  with  a  great  peninsulated 
point  running  out  to  the  south-west  or  Irish  sea,  and  separated  from 
Anglesea  by  the  isthmus  of  Menai.  The  general  surface  of  the 
country  is  very  mountainous,  and  the  vales  for  the  most  part  narrow, 
with  hills  rising  very  abruptly  from  the  skirts  of  small  vallies  into 
stupendous  mountains,  intersecting  each  other  in  all  directions,  af- 
fording, however,  an  ample  sustenance  for  numerous  herds  of  cattle 
and  sheep,  which  are  fed  in  great  numbers  on  the  mountains,  being 
attended  by  their  owners,  who  for  the  season  reside  in  temporary  huts, 
wherein  they  make  butter  and  cheese,  which,  with  a  little  oatmeal 
and  the  produce  of  the  dairies,  constitute  their  daily  food.  The 
prospects  around  are  rude  and  savage  in  the  extreme,  yet  not  entirely 
destitute  of  some  mixture  of  beauty,  particularly  the  vales,  which 
admit  the  common  varieties  of  wood,  water,  and  meadow.  In  some 
of  the  lakes  are  found  the  char,  and  the  gwiniad  (another  alpine  fish), 
with  many  rare  vegetables  found  on  the  most  elevated  parts  of  Snow- 
don.  Some  parts  of  the  county  afford  lead  and  copper,  and  some 
excellent  quarries  of  stone  for  hones  and  slates,  while  other  parts  are 
celebrated  for  the  produce  of  oats,  barley,  and  black  cattle,  of  which 
vast  numbers  are  exported  annually ;  together  with  great  quantities 
of  fish,  especially  herrings,  which  are  caught  on  the  shores  of  the 


Is  the  ancient  Segontium  of  the  Romans,  mentioned  by  Antoninus  as 
a  Roman  station  in  the  time  of  Constantine.  Matthew  Paris  informs 
us  that  the  body  of  Constantius,  the  father  of  that  emperor,  was  found 
buried  therein  1283.  The  town  is  situate  in  the  parish  of  Llan- 
beblig,  a  church  dedicated  to  Saint  Peblic,  who  lived  about  the 
middle  of  the  fifth  century  ;  and  here  is  a  new  chapel  built,  dedicated 
to  Saint  Mary.  The  church  is  a  large  building  in  the  form  of  a 
cross,  and  is  situate  near  the  walls  of  Old  Segontium,  a  short  distance 
to  the  south-east  of  the  town.  Richard  the  Second  bestowed  this 

v  2  church 


church,  and  the  chapel  of  Caernarvon,  on  the  nuns  of  Saint  Mary's  in 
Chester,  in  consequence  of  their  poverty.*  In  the  church  is  an  altar- 
tomb  to  the  memory  of  William  Griffith,  Esq.  son  of  Sir  William 
Griffith,  of  Penrhyri,  and  his  wife  Margaret,  daughter  of  John  Wynn 
ab  Meredith,  Esq.  of  Gwydir.  The  figures  are  in  white  marble,  and 
very  well  sculptured :  he  died  Nov.  28,  1587,  and  she  in  1593,  when 
the  tomb  was  erected  by  her  father.  It  is  probable  that  the  large 
nouse  called  Plas  Mawr,  in  the  town  of  Caernarvon,  was  built  by  him, 
as  the  initials  of  his  name,  W.  G.  and  those  of  his  wife,  M.  G.  are 
over  the  south-west  door.  It  appears  that  Caer-Segorit  (or  Old 
Caernarvon)  was  anciently  the  seat  of  the  Princes  of  Wales,  for  King 
Cadvan  resided  here  in  650,  where  also  Cadwallo  his  son,  who  was 
so  great  a  scourge  to  the  Saxons,  and  his  grandson  Cadwaladr,  suc- 
cessively resided.  Caradog  also,  and  his  son  Octavius,  who  was 
made  Governor  of  Britain  by  Constantine  the  Great,  resided  here 
prior  to  that  time ;  and  Helen,  wife  of  the  Emperor  Maximus,f  and 
daughter  of  the  said  Octavius,  was  born  at  Caer-Segont.  Publicius,. 
the  founder  of  Llanbeblig,  is  said  to  have  been  the  son  of  the  said 
Maximus  and  Helen  ;  and  Cynan  Meriadog,  cousin  to  the  said 
Helen,  succeeded  his  uncle  Octavius  as  Duke  of  Cornwall.  It  is  also 
said  that  Prince  Roderic  resided  here  in  A.  D.  750.  It  is  probable 
that  Old  Caer  yn  Arvon,  prior  to  the  time  of  Edward  the  First,  was 
situate  near  Hen  Waliau. 

The  town  is  built  in  the  form  of  a  square,  and  enclosed  on  three 
sides  by  an  embattled  stone  wall :  the  streets  are  at  right  angles  with 
the  principal  one,  in  which  is  the  town  hall.  The  chief  object  which 
attracts  our  attention  is  the  noble  castle,  the  most  magnificent  in 
Wales,  built  by  Edward  the  First,  and  probably  the  town  at  the  same 
time,  with  the  revenues  of  the  see  of  York,  then  vacant.  The  castle 
defends  the  town  on  the  south,  and  has  a  narrow  deep  ditch  in  front 
on  the  north  side  :  in  its  west  wall  are  three  round  towers,  and  two 
more  on  each  side,  with  a  narrow  gate  or  entrance,  over  which  is 
placed  a  bareheaded  figure  with  flowing  locks,  holding  in  his  left  hand 
a  sword,  which  he  draws  with  his  right,  or  perhaps  is  sheathing,  in 
allusion  to  the  termination  of  the  Welsh  war,  and  a  defaced  shield  is 
under  his  feet.  This  gate  leads  to  a  narrow  oblong  court :  at  the  west 
end  is  a  polygon  tower,  with  three  hexagon  towers  above,  on  the 
embattlements  of  which  are  eagles,  whence  it  had  the  name  of  Eagle 
Tower,  which  is  the  admiration  of  all  lovers  of  architecture:  the 
eagles  on  the  tower  are  supposed  to  be  Roman,  and  to  have  been 
found  at  Segontium  by  Edward.  John  de  Havering  was  the  first 
governor,  and  Adam  d&  Wetenhall  succeeded.  The  constable  and 
the  captain  had  twenty-four  soldiers  allowed  them  for  the  defence  of 
the  place :  this  small  garrison  was  only  during  peaceable  times.  In 
Cromwell's  time,  Captain  Swanley,  a  parliament  man,  took  the  town. 

*  Pennant,  and  Sebright  MSS.  f  Called  by  the  Welsh  Macsen  Wledig. 


In  1644  the  royalists  retook  the  place  ;  finally  General  Mytton  and 
Colonels  Mason,  Carter,  and  Twisleton,  retook  it  in  1648,  when  Sir 
John  Owen  was  defeated  near  Llandegai,  after  which  North  Wales 
entirely  submitted  to  the  parliament.  In  the  Eagle  tower  before 
alluded  to  is  a  room  eleven  feet  by  seven,  in  which  the  unfortunate 
Edward  the  Second,  the  first  English  Prince  of  Wales,  was  born  on 
the  25th  of  April,  1284.  A  passage  only  separates  this  room  from 
another  semi-circular  apartment,  called  the  Nursery.  On  the  south 
side,  next  the  river  Seiont,  are  three  hexagon  and  octagon  towers, 
with  three  others  on  the  north ;  to  the  east  is  a  magnificent  entrance, 
with  a  lofty  round  arch,  and  towers  communicating  all  round  by  noble 
galleries,  several  of  which  are  surrounded  by  small  towers,  peculiar 
to  this  castle.  In  the  north-east  corner  is  a  deep  well,  now  nearly 
filled  up,  having  near  it  a  round  tower,  formerly  a  dungeon.  Such  is 
the  external  delineation  of  Caernarvon  castle,  founded  on  a  rock,  and 
now  almost  entire.  The  outer  walls  are  of  white  hewn  stone,  with  an 
edging  of  red  about  the  corners  and  windows,  which  have  a  very 
pretty  effect.  There  were  several  English  gentlemen  introduced  into 
this  town  as  governors  and  officers  of  the  castle,  by  the  Kings  of 
England,  after  the  conquest,  a  few  of  whose  posterity  still  remain. 
Of  this  number,  no  doubt,  were  the  Spicers,  Pulestons,  Bowmans, 
and  Bolds ;  and  the  old  houses  where  they  lived  still  go  by  their 
respective  names,  such  as  Plas  Pilstwn,  the  present  King's  Head  inn ; 
Plas  Bowman,  the  corner  of  Church-street ;  and  Plas  Spicer,  in 
Church-street.  The  town  of  Caernarvon  is  increasing  in  size  and 
opulence  :  two  large  chapels  and  several  new  streets  have  lately  been 
built ;  the  Sportsman's  Arms  Inn  and  the  New  Hotel  afford  every 
accommodation  of  elegance  and  convenience.  The  corporation,  about 
the  year  1808,  built  an  elegant  town-hall  and  market-house  in  the 
centre  of  the  town.  Very  commodious  hot  and  cold  baths,  with 
reading  rooms  attached,  have  been  recently  erected  by  the  Marquis  of 
Anglesea,  who  is  mayor  of  the  town,  and  constable  of  the  castle  for 
life.  This  town  is  much  frequented  by  strangers  in  the  summer 
season.  On  the  outside  of  the  town  walls  is  a  broad  and  pleasant 
terrace  along  the  side  of  the  Menai,  extending  from  the  quay  to  the 
north  end  of  the  town  walls  ;  and  in  the  evening  it  is  a  fashionable 
promenade  for  persons  of  all  descriptions. 

The  port  of  Caernarvon  is  rather  dangerous,  from  the  extensive 
banks  adjacent  thereto  ;  but  the  harbour  is  very  commodious,  and 
vessels  of  six  or  seven  hundred  tons  ride  in  security.  The  quay  is 
also  peculiarly  convenient,  as  large  vessels  can  ride  close  to  it,  and 
deliver  or  take  in  their  cargoes.  The  trade  is  annually  considerably 
increasing.  Near  the  quay  is  the  custom-house,  well  situated  for 
vessels  trading  in  slates,  of  which  many  thousands  are  exported  to 
different  parts  of  the  empire,  and  procured  from  the  quarries  in  the 
mountains  of  Llanberis. 



From  the  top  of  a  rock  behind  the  hotel  is  a  fine  view  of  the  town 
and  castle  ;  and  on  a  clear  day  the  Isle  of  Anglesea,  Holyhead,  and 
Paris  Mountains  may  be  distinctly  seen,  like  a  good  map  before  the 
eyes.     On  the  east  end  of  the  town  is  a  large  suburb,  with  a  wide 
street  leading  to  the  bridge  and  ditch,  sided  with  two  round  towers, 
and  over  the  gate  an  assembly  room.      On  the  opposite  side  of  the 
river   Seiont,  about  half  a  mile  from  the  town,   are  the  ruins  of  a 
Roman  fort,  called  Hen  Waliau,  with  the  walls  entire  on  three  sides, 
built  of  rough  stones  strongly  cemented  together,  ten  feet  high  by 
four  thick,  enclosing  an  area  of  about  eighty  yards  from  east  to  west ; 
but  the  west  side,  which  overhangs  the  steep  bank  of  the  river,  has 
no  trace  of  a  wall.     The  remains  of  a  Roman  road  are  still  visible 
from  this  place  to  Dinorwig,  and  a  single  stone  bears  the  inscription 
S.  V.  C.  probably  Segontium  Urbis  Constantine.     Here  Helen,  the 
wife  of  Constantius,  had  a  chapel,  and  her  name  is  preserved  in  a 
well  half  a  mile  below  On  the  river  side.     Near  this  place  was  found, 
a  few  years  ago,  a  pot  full  of  coins,  buried  under  a  tree  ;    afterwards 
there  were  found  a  large  coin  of  Vespasian  in  July,  1821,  a  small 
silver  one  of  Anton  ins  Pius  in  1808,  and  another  silver  one  of  Valerian 
in   1827.     Near  Moel  y  Don  is  a  large  bed  of  a  beautiful  small- 
grained  white  free-stone,  which  supplies  this  part  of  the  country  with 
whet-stones  :  it  is  of  the  hardest  kind,  and,  if  used  with  oil,  is  little 
inferior  to  the  Turkey  oil-stone. 

On  leaving  Caernarvon  we  proceed  in  an  easterly  direction,  and,  at 
the  distance  of  about  ten  miles,  pass  through  the  village  of  Llanberis, 
commonly  called  Nantberis  :  the  church  is  dedicated  to  Saint  Peris, 
a  saint  and  cardinal,  who  lived  about  the  middle  of  the  sixth  century  ; 
he  was  the  son  of  Helig  ab  Glanog,  and  retired  here  to  lead  a  holy 
life.     There  is  a  well  near  the  church,  called  Ffynnon  Peris,  in  which 
ricketty  children  and  scrofulous  and  rheumatic  persons  are  bathed  ; 
and  a  poor  woman,  who  lives  in  a  cottage  near  the  spring,  has  a  few 
pence  given  her  by  strangers  for  shewing  one  or  two  large  trout  which 
she  feeds  in  the  well.     The  vale  of  Llanberis  is  straight,  and  nearly 
of  an   equal   breadth   throughout,    with    two  lakes  or  pools ;    the 
upper  one  is  about  a  mile  in  length  and  half  a  mile  broad,  wherein 
the  char  fish  used  to  be  caught,  but  the  copper  works,  which  are 
carried  on  here  to  a  great  extent,  have  long  since  destroyed  them. 
The  vale  was  formerly  covered  with  wood,  but  at  present  few  trees 
remain,  though  within  the  memory  of  old  people  there  wrere  extensive 
woods  of  oak  ;  and  Leland,  in  his  Itinerary,  makes  particular  mention 
of  it.     In  the  time  of  Howel  Dda,  Prince  of  Wales,  in  the  year  940, 
the  whole   county  was   nearly  covered  with  wood;    for  we  find   it 
ordered,  in  the  Welsh  laws  framed  by  him,  that  whoever  cleared  away 
the  timber  from  any  land  should  possess  the  ground  so  cleared  for  five 
years,  independent  of  the  owner.     The  mountains  also  abounded  in 
rlrer,  which  continued  in  great  numbers  till  the  end  of  Henry  the 



Eighth's  reign.  On  a  rocky  eminence  stands  an  old  building,  called 
Dolbadarn  Castle,  consisting  of  a  round  tower  of  26  feet  in  diameter 
within,  and  also  shewing  a  few  fragments  of  the  walls,  and  offices  on 
the  summit  of  a  steep  hill.  The  construction  of  this  castle  evidently 
proves  it  to  be  of  British  origin,  perhaps  as  early  as  the  sixth 
century,  being  mentioned  then  as  being  in  the  possession  of  Mael- 
gwyn  Gwynedd,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  during  his  contention  with 
the  Saxons.  In  this  fortress  Owain  Goch  was  confined  twenty-six 
years,  for  rebellion  against  -his  brother,  Llewelyn  ab  lorwerth.  The 
Earl  of  Pembroke  took  this  castle  from  the  Welsh  in  1238,  after  a 
short  resistance.  A  little  south  of  this  place  is  a  tremendous  cataract, 
called  Ceunant  Mawr,  in  height  about  sixty  feet,  from  which  precipi- 
tates a  mountain  stream  amid  numerous  rocks,  until  it  falls  into  a  deep 
black  pool  below.  North-east  of  the  village  is  a  high  perpendicular 
mountain,  called  Glyder  Vawr :  the  ascent  is  very  steep  and  tiresome, 
because  of  numerous  paths,  continually  obstructed  .by  rocks  and  wet, 
which  render  the  whole  slippery  and  dangerous.  This  mountain  is 
acknowledged  to  be  the  most  lofty  in  Caernarvonshire,  Snowdon 
excepted.  In  a  flat,  about  half  a  mile  up  its  ascent,  is  a  small  pool, 
called  Llyn  y  Cwn,  or  Pool  of  I?ogs,  rendered  remarkable  by 
Giraldus  for  a  singular  kind  of  trout,  perch,  and  eels,  which  were  all 
monocular,  i.  e.  wanting  the  left  eye  :  but  at  present  the  pool  seems 
destitute  of  fish  of  any  description.  Near  the  above  is  Glyder 
Vach,  /having  the  summit  covered  with  groups  of  columnar  stones  of 
vast  size,  with  others  lying  horizontally  upon  them.  Several  pieces 
of  lava  have  also  been  found  here,  which  Mr.  Pennant  conjectures 
.might  have  originated  in  some  mighty  convulsion  of  nature,  which 
probably  left  this  mountain  so  rough  and  strangely  disposed.  A 
Jlittle  tojthe  south  ;of  JLlanberis  js 


Jjhe  etymology  of  the  name  of  which  mountain  .has  given  rise  to  several 
:cur,ious  conjectures ;  but  Snowdon  is  evidently  derived  from  the 
Saxpns,  .implying  a  snowy  hill,  or  hill  covered  with  snow,  which  is  not 
uncqmtnon  ,herie  eve^i  in  the  month  of  June.  Humphrey  Lhwyd 
maintains  its  signification  to  be  eagles' rocks.  ;The  ingenious  Mr. 
Pennant  derives  it  from  a  compound  of  Welsh  words,  as  Creigiau'r 
Eira,  or  snowy  cliffs;  and  perhaps  both  have  an  equal  claim  to 
originality.  From  the  greatness  of  the  object  before  us,  it  is  almost 
impossible  to  give  an  adequate  description  ;  but  according  to  the  best 
authorities,  Snowdon  is,  from  the  quay  at  Caernarvon  to  the  highest 
peak,  one  thousand  three  hundred  yards  in  perpendicular  height 
above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  chiefly  composed  of  a  very  hard  stone, 
with  large  coarse  crystal,  a  general  attendant  on  alpine  countries. 
The  Welsh  have  also  a  tradition,  that  these  uncouth  and  savage 
mountains  formerly  abounded  with  woods,  and  that  they  were  felled 



by  Edward  the  First,  on  account  of  affording  a  secure  retreat  to  the 
natives,  and  convenience  for  their  detached  and  ambuscading  parties. 
This  idea  is  confuted  by  Giraldus  Cambrensis,  in  his  description  of 
this  mountain,  written  nearly  one  hundred  years  before  the  time  of 
Edward  the  First,  which,  besides,  perfectly  corresponds  with  its 
present  appearance.  Sir  John  Wynne,  in  his  History  of  the  Gwydir 
Family,  says,  "  Snowdon  was  in  ancient  times  a  royal  forest ;"  and 
still  further  asserts,  that  not  only  Nant-conway  was  wooded,  but  all 
Caernarvon,  Merioneth,  and  Denbigh  shires,  were  originally  but  one 
forest.  This  is  evidently  too  general  an  assertion  ;  for  according  to 
this  author,  Owen  Glyndwr  destroyed  the  whole  in  1400.  The 
distance  of  the  summit  of  Snowdon  from  Caernarvon  is  rather  more 
than  ten  miles,  but  from  Dolbadarn  Castle,  in  the  vale  of  Llanberis, 
where  the  ascent  is  gradual,  a  person  mounted  on  a  Welsh  pony 
may,  without  much  difficulty,  ride  up  nearly  to  the  top.  To  accom- 
plish this,  the  traveller  should  go  from  Caernarvon  to  Dolbadarn 
Castle,  and  after  keeping  on  the  side  of  the  lake  turn  to  the  left  for 
Ceunant  Mawr,  a  noble  cataract ;  from  thence  ascend  a  mountain  to 
a  vale  called  Cwm  Brwynog,  a  very  deep  and  fertile  spot;  from 
thence  pass  through  Bwlch  y  Cwm  Brwynog  :  here  the  ascent 
becomes  very  difficult,  so  that  timid  travellers  are  frequently  obliged 
to  clamber  on  foot,  till,  by  keeping  to  the  right,  they  arrive  at  Llyn 
Glas,  Llyn  Nadroed,  and  Llyn  Coch,  where  the  spaces  between  the 
precipices  form  an  agreeable  isthmus,  leading  to  a  very  verdant  plain, 
where  the  traveller  rests  for  a  short  time.  After  this  a  smooth  path 
leads  almost  to  the  summit,  called  Y  Wyddfa,  or  the  Conspicuous, 
which  rises  to  a  point,  leaving  a  small  space  for  a  circular  wall  of  loose 
stones.  The  mountain  from  hence  seems  propped  up  by  four  buttresses, 
between  which  are  four  deep  Cwms  or  vallies,  with  three  lakes,  and 
almost  a  boundless  view,  taking  in  a  great  part  of  the  counties  of 
Chester  and  York,  with  other  parts  of  the  north  of  England,  Scotland, 
and  Ireland,  the  Isle  of  Man,  and  Anglesea.  From  the  same  situa- 
tion is  a  view  of  between  twenty  and  thirty  lakes,  chiefly  in  this  county 
and  Merionethshire :  of  mountains,  let  it  suffice  to  say  the  most  noted 
are  Moel  y  Wyddfa,  Y  Glyder,  Carnedd  David,  and  Carnedd 
Llewelyn,  which  are  properly  British  Alps,  having  lakes  and  rivers, 
high  and  craggy  precipices,  covered  with  snow  a  considerable  part  of 
the  year,  and  produce  similar  plants.  The  hills  appear,  as  it  were, 
heaped  one  on  the  top  of  the  other  ;  for  after  climbing  up  one  you 
come  to  a  valley,  and  most  commonly  to  a  lake,  and  passing  by  that, 
ascend  another,  and  sometimes  a  third  or  fourth,  before  you  gain  the 
summit.  The  greater  part  of  the  rocks  which  compose  these  moun- 
lains  are  schistose,  hornblende,  mica,  granite,  and  porphyry,  enclos- 
ing considerable  blocks  of  quartz.  The  plants  and  animals  are  nearly 
the  same  as  those  found  about  Cader  Idris. 

To  conclude,  it  may  be  said,  with  Mr.  Bingley,  that  were  the 



traveller's  expectation  to  soar  above  all  former  ideas  of  magnificence, 
this  mountain  will  infinitely  surpass  all  conception,  as  it  baffles  all 
description,  for  no  colour  of  language  can  paint  the  grandeur  of  the 
rising  sun   observed  from  this  eminence,  which  is  thus  beautifully 
described  by  Mr.  Pennant :-—"  I  took  much  pains  to  see  this  prospect 
to  advantage :  I  therefore  sat  up  up  at  a  farm  house  on  the  west  till 
about  twelve,  and  walked  up  the  whole  way.     The  night  was  remark- 
ably fine  and  starry ;  towards  morn  the  stars  faded  away,  and  left  a 
short  interval  of  darkness,  which  soon  dispersed  by  the  dawn  of  day 
-=-r-the  body  of  the  sun  appearing  most  distinct,  with  the  rotundity  of 
the  moon,  before  it  arose  high  enough  to  render  its  beams  too  bril- 
liant for  our  sight.     The  sea,  which  bounded  the  western  part,  was 
gilt  by  its  beams,  at  first  in  slender  streaks,  but  at  length  it  glowed 
with  redness.     The  prospect  was  disclosed  to  us,  like  the  gradual 
drawing-up  of  a  curtain  in  a  theatre.    We  saw  more  and  more,  till  the 
heat  became  so  powerful  as  to  attract  the  mists  from  the  various 
lakes,  which  in  a  slight  degree  obscured  the  prospect.     The  shadow 
of  the  mountain  was  flung  many  miles,  and  shewed  its  bicapitated 
form ;  the  Wyddfa  making  one,  Crib  y  Distill  the  other  head.     The 
day  proved  so  excessively  hot,  that  the  journey  cost  me  the  skin  of 
the  lower  part  of  my  face  before  I  reached  the  resting  place,  after  the 
fatigue  of  the  morning."     Anothsr  time,  when  Mr.  Pennant  was  on 
Snowdon,  he  says—*-"  A  vast  mist  enveloped  the  whole  circuit  of  the 
mountain.      The  prospect  down  was  horrible  :    it  gave  an  idea  of 
numbers  of  abysses,  concealed  by  a  thick  smoke  furiously  circulating 
around  us :     very  often  a  gust  of  wind  formed  an  opening  in  the 
clouds,  which  gave  a  fine  and  distinct  vista  of  lake  and  valley  ;  some- 
times they  opened  only  in  one  place,  at  others   in  many,  at  once 
exhibiting  a  most  strange  and  perplexing  sight  of  water,  fields,  rocks, 
or  chasms,  in  fifty  different  places.     They  then  closed  at  once,  and 
left  us  involved  in  darkness  :    in  a  small  space  they  would  separate 
again,  and  fly  in  wild  eddies  round  the  middle  of  the  mountains,  rnd 
expose  in  parts  both  tops  and  bases  clear  to  our  view.    We  descended 
from  this  varied  scene  with  great  reluctance ;  and  before  we  reached 
our  horses,  a  thunder  storm  overtook   us:    its  rolling  among  the 
mountains  was  inexpressibly  awful ;  the  rain  uncommonly  heavy ;  so 
that  we  re-mounted  our  horses,  and  gained  the  bottom  with  great 
risque  of  being  swept  away  by  these  sudden  waters." 


The  Welsh  princes  were  greatly  attached  to  the  amusements  of  the 
field :  hunting,  fishing,  hawking,  and  fowling,  constituted  their  chief 
pleasure,  exercise,  and  amusement,  and  the  Welsh  court  was  for  a 
great  part  of  the  year  migratory,  or  ambulatory ;  that  is,  the  Prince 
with  his  attendants  took  his  rounds,  or  made  regular  circuits  through 
the  mountainous  parts  of  Gwynedd,  and  provision  was  made  by  law 



for  the  maintenance  of  his  hounds,  horses,  and  attendants,  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  Llys,  or  Palace.  In  these  excursions  Creigiau'r 
Eiry,*  or  Snowdon  forest,  claimed  his  chief  attention,  and  seemed  to 
have  been  the  principal  scene  of  attraction,  as  appears  from  a  number 
of  pjaces  still  bearing  the  name  of  Llys,  and  the  different  castles  and 
manors  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Snowdon  which  formerly  belonged  to 
the  Welsh  princes.  One  of  these,  Llys  yn  Dinorwig,  in  the  parish  of 
Llanddeiniolen,was  conferred  on  Sir  Gruffydd  Llwyd,  of  Tregarnedd, 
in  Anglesea,  by  Edward  the  First,  then  at  Rhuddlan  Castle,  when 
he  brought  him  the  news  of  the  birth  of  the  first  Prince  of  Wales  of 
the  English  line  ;  and  the  king's  weir  of  Aberglaslyn,  his  mills  of 
Dwyvor  in  Eivionydd,  and  lands  at  Dolbenmaen,  and  the  constable- 
ship  of  Criccieth  castle,  were  bestowed  upon  Sir  Howel  y  Fywal  (or 
the  Battle-axe),  w7ho  is  reported  to  have  taken  John,  the  French  king, 
prisoner,  and  was  knighted  by  the  Black  Prince  at  the  battle  of 
Poictiers.  The  Welsh  princes  had  also  a  seat  and  castle  at  Aber, 
where  they  frequently  resided ;  another  near  LJyniau  Nantlli,  in  the 
parish  of  Llanllyvni,  called  Bala  Deulyn,  where  Edward  the  First 
spent  several  days  after  his  conquest  of  Wales.  Besides  these  (Conve- 
niences of  hunting,  this  part  of  North  Wales  was  ysry  strong  in  a 
military  point  of  view ;  for  here  we  behold  a  range  of  lofty  mountains, 
extending  from  one  sea  to  the  other,  i.  e.  from  the  great  Ormshead 
and  Penmaenmawr,  near  Conway,  to  the  Rivals,  near  Clynnog,  on  one 
side,  and  Gest,  near  Penmorva,  on  the  other ;  and  having,  in  addition 
to  these,  the  Conway  as  a  barrier  on  the  north,  and  Traethmawr  on 
the  south,  over  which  the  Welsh  usually  retreated  when  they  were 
pressed  by  the  English  arms.  The  principal  defiles,  likewise,  which 
opened  through  that  range  of  vast  mountains  were  secured  by  strong 
fortifications.  The  castle  of  Diganwy  was  placed  on  the  banks  of  the 
Conway,  nearly  opposite  to  the  present  town  of  that  name ;  that  of 
Caer  Rhun  was  situated  at  the  foot  of  Bwlch  y  Ddan  Faen,  on  the 
east  side ;  with  a  fort  at  Aber  on  the  west ;  Dolwyddelan  nearly 
central,  as  a  place  of  safety  between  the  mountains ;  a  watch  tower  at 
Nant  Ffrangcon;  Dolbadarn  Castle  in  Nant  Peris,  and  Castell 
Cidwm  in  Nant  y  Bettws;  with  a  fort  at  Dinas  Emrys,  in  Nant- 
gwynant;  and  the  passes  of  Traethmawr  and  Traethbach,  guarded 
by  the  strong  castles  of  Harlech  on  one  side,  and  Criccieth  on  the 
other  ;  with  a  watoh  tower  at  Penrhyn  Daudraeth,  another  at  Cesaii 
Gyfarch,  and  a  fort  at  Dolbenmaen :  and  all  these  various  fortifi- 
cations, placed  in  the  most  advantageous  situations,  marked,  for  a 
rude  age,  great  military  sagacity. 

Leland  observes,  "  All  Cregeryri  is  forest,  and  no  part  of  Merion- 
ethshire lieth  in  Cregeryri.  The  best  wood  of  Carnarvonshire  is  by 
Glinne  Kledder,  and  by  Glin  Llugwy,  and  by  Capel  Curig,  and  at 


*  Creigiau'r  Eiry  :  the  snowy  crags.  Eiry,  and  not  Eira,  is  the  expression  made  use 
of  by  Aneurin  and  Lly  warch  ben  and  other  ancient  bards. 


Llan  Peris.  Meetly  good  wood  about  Conwy  Abbey  and  Penmachno, 
and  about  Coetmore  and  Coit  Park,  near  Bangor,  and  in  many  other 
places.  In  Lleyn  and  Ivioneth  is  little  wood.  Carnarvonshire,  about 
the  shore,  hath  reasonable  good  corn,  as  about  a  mile  upland  from 
the  shore,  near  Carnarvon.  The  more  upward  be  Eryri  hills,  and  in 
them  is  very  little  corn,  except  oats  in  some  places,  and  a  little  barley, 
but  scanty  rye ;  if  there  were,  the  deer  would  destroy  it.  But  in 
Lleyn  and  Hiuionith  is  good  corn,  both  along-shore  and  almost 
through  the  upland." 

Snowdon  being  a  royal  forest,  warrants  were  issued  by  the  English 
Kings  and  Princes  of  Wales  for  the  killing  of  the  deer.  "  I  have 
seen  one,"  says  Mr.  Pennant,  fe  from  the  Duke  of  Suffolk,  dated 
April  30th,  1552,  and  another  in  the  first  year  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
signed  by  Robert  Townsend,  and  a  third  in  1561  by  Henry  Sidney. 
The  second  was  addressed  to  the  master  of  the  game,  ranger,  and 
keeper  of  the  Queen's  Highness's  Forest  of  Snowdon,  in  the  county 
of  Caernarvon.  The  last  extended  the  forest  into  the  counties  of 
Merioneth  and  Anglesea,  with  the  view  of  gratifying  the  rapacity  of 
the  favourite  Dudley  Earl  of  Leicester,  who  had  by  letters  patent 
been  appointed  chief  ranger  of  the  forest.  In  consequence,  he  tyran- 
nized over  these  counties  with  great  insolence,  A  set  of  informers 
immediately  acquainted  him  that  most  of  the  freeholders'  estates 
might  be  brought  within  the  boundaries :  commissioners  were  ap- 
pointed to  enquire  of  the  encroachments  and  concealments  of  lands 
•within  the  forest ;  juries  were  impannelled,  but  their  returns  were 
rejected  by  the  commissioners,  as  unfavourable  to  the  Earl's  designs. 
The  jurors  performed  an  honest  part,  and  found  a  verdict  for  the 
county.  A  new  commission  was  then  directed  to  Sir  Richard  Bulke- 
ley;  of  Baron  Hill,  Anglesea,  Sir  William  Herbert,  and  others,  but 
this,  by  the  firmness  of  Sir  Richard,  was  likewise  soon  superseded. 
But  in  1578  another  was  appointed,  dependent  upon  the  favourite. 
A  packed  jury  was  directed  to  appear  at  Beaumaris,  who  went  on  the 
same  day  to  view  the  marsh  at  Malldraeth,  ten  miles  distant,  and 
found  that  marsh  to  be  in  the  forest  of  Snowdon!  notwithstanding  it 
was  in  another  county,  and  divided  from  the  forest  by  an  arm  of  the 
sea ;  because  the  commissioners  had  told  them  that  they  had  met 
with  an  indictment  in  the  Exchequer  of  Caernarvon,  by  which  they 
bad  discovered  that  a  stag  had  been  roused  in  the  forest  of  Snowdon, 
in  Caernarvonshire,  was  pursued  to  the  banks  of  the  Menai,  that  it 
swam  over  that  branch  of  the  sea,  and  was  killed  at  Malldraeth — 
Infra  Forestam  nostram  de  Snowdon.  The  Jury  appeared  in  the 
Earl's  livery,  blue,  with  ragged  staves  on  the  sleeves,  and  were  ever 
afterwards  branded  with  the  title  of  the  Black  Jury  who  sold  their 
country.  Sir  Richard,  not  the  least^  daunted  with  the  decision, 
continued  steady  in  his  opposition  to  tKe  tyrant,  and  laid  before  the 
Queen  the  odiousness  of  the  proceedings,  and  the  grievances  her 



loyal  subjects  the  Welsh  laboured  under  by  the  commission ;  so  that 
in  1579  her  Highness  was  pleased,  by  proclamation,  to  recall  it." — 
Leicester,  disappointed  in  his  views,  pursued  Sir  Richard  with  the 
utmost  inveteracy,  but  his  designs  proved  unsuccessful. 

It  appears  from  an  old  Welsh  manuscript,  containing  some  of  the 
poetical  compositions  of  the  three  following  bards,  viz.  Hugh  ab 
Risiart  ab  Davydd,  Morns  Dwyvech,  and  Cadwaladr  Gruffydd,  that 
eight  gentlemen  from  Lleyn,  in  this  county,  were  confined  in  the 
Marshalsea  in  London,  about  this  time,  on  account  of  the  forest  of 
Snowdon  :  viz.  John  Griffith,  Esq.  Griffith  Jones,  of  Nyffryn,  Esq. 
Hugh  Richards,  of  Cefn  Llanfair,  Esq.  William  Griffith,  Esq.  Row- 
land Roberts,  Esq.  Hugh  Gwynn,  of  Bodvel,  Esq.  Robert  Jones, 
Esq.  and  Thomas  Madryn,  Esq.  There  are  fourteen  stanzas  by 
Morus  Dwyvech,  otherwise  ab  Ivan  ab  Eineon,  and  eight  by  Cad- 
waladr Griffith,  expressing  their  own  and  the  general  sorrow  and 
regret  on  account  of  the  confinement  of  those  gentlemen,  and  wishing 
for  their  speedy  release  from  imprisonment :— -? 


Archa,  ni  chela  wych  hwyliad — tra  alhvy 
Trwy  wyllys,  a  chariad, 
Im  gwir  Ar^lwydd,  rwydd  roddiad ; 
Ystyn,  i  wyr  Lleyn,  wellhad. 


Arwyth  nid  adwylh  dwediad— di  fethol 
Duw  fytho,  yn  geidwad, 
Wyth  rosyn,  wyth  di-risiad ; 
Wyth  Baun  glew,  wyth  Ben  Gwlad. 

Cadwr.  Griffith,  alias  Cadwaladr  Ce^ail. 

The  Northwallian  pnnces  had,  in  addition  to  their  title,  that  of 
(t  Lord  of  Snowdon."  They  had  five  hardy  barons  within  the  tract, 
who  held  of  them.  Such  was  the  importance  of  this  strong  region, 
that  when  Lly welyn  was  at  the  last  extremity  he  rejected  the  proposal 
of  Edward  the  First,  of  a  thousand  a  year  and  some  honourable 
county  in  England,  wejl  knowing  that  his  principality  must  terminate 
with  the  cession.  No  sooner  had  Edward  effected  his  conquest  than 
he  held  a  triumphal  fair  upon  Snowdon,  and  another  at  Llyniau 
Nantlli,  then  called  Bala  Deulyn,  and  adjourned  to  finish  the  joys  of 
his  victory  by  solemn  tournaments  on  the  plains  of  Nevin. 

The  statement  by  Giraldus  and  others,  that  snow  remains  on  the 
hills  the  whole  year,  is  incorrect.  Sir  John  Wynne  asserts  that 
Eleanor,  King  Edward's  queen,  and  William  Sutton  the  Justice  (who 
dealt  hardly  with  the  gentry  of  North  Wales),  took  by  force,  from 
the  Welsh  princes'  brothers  and  relatives,  many  of  their  manors  and 
possessions  in  the  vicinity  of  Snowdon. 

Further  particulars  respecting  Snowdon,  and  the  appearance  and 
state  of  this  county  in  the  time  of  the  rebellion  of  Owain  Glyndwr, 



and  the  civil  wars  of  York  and  Lancaster,  are  given  by  Sir  John 
Wynne,  in  his  History  of  the  Gwydir  Family.  Speaking  of  the 
enmities  and  dissentions  between  different  Welsh  families  in  Caernar- 
vonshire, about  the  year  1400,  and  in  particular  of  the  violent  con- 
tentions between  two  petty  chieftains,  viz.  Howel  ab  Ivan  ab  Rh$-s 
Gethin,  who  lived  at  Dolwyddelen  castle,  and  one  David  ab  Jenkin, 
who  occupied  the  rock  of  Carregy  Gwalch,  near  Gwydir,  he  observes, 
that  David  ab  Jenkin,  finding  that  he  was  unable  any  longer  to 
contend  with  his  adversary,  was  compelled  to  leave  the  country  and 
go  to  Ireland,  where  he  remained  for  about  a  year.  "  In  the  end 
(says  Sir  John)  he  returned  in  the  summer  time,  having  himself  and 
all  his  followers  clad  in  green,  who  being  come  into  the  country,  he 
dispersed  them  here  and  there  among  his  friends,  lurking  by  day  and 
walking  by  night,  for  fear  of  his  adversaries.  All  the  whole  country 
was  then  but  a  forest,  rough  and  spacious,  as  it  is  still,  but  then  waste 
of  inhabitants,  and  all  overgrown  with  woods ;  for  Owain  Glyndwr's 
wars  beginning  in  the  year  1400,  continued  fifteen  years,  which 
brought  such  a  desolation  that  green  grass  grew  on  the  market-place 
in  Llanrwst,  called  Bryn  y  Betten,  and  the  deer  fled  into  the  church- 
yard, as  it  is  reported.*  This  desolation  arose  from  Owain  Glyn- 
dwr's policy,  to  bring  all  things  to  waste,  that  the  English  could  find 
no  strength  nor  resting  place.  The  country  being  brought  to  such  a 
desolation,  could  not  be  replanted  in  haste,  and  the  wars  of  York  and 
Lancaster  happening  some  fifteen  years  after,  this  country  being  the 
chiefest  fastness  of  North  Wales,  was  kept  by  David  ab  Jenkin  (a 
captain  of  the  Lancastrian  faction)  fifteen  years  in  Edward  the 
Fourth's  time,  who  sent  divers  captains  to  besiege  him  and  waste 
the  country,  while  he  kept  his  rock  of  Carreg  y  Gwalch,  and  lastly  by 
the  Earl  Herbert,  who  brought  it  to  utter  desolation.  Now  you  are 
to  understand  that  in  these  days  the  country  of  Nantconwy  was  not 
only  wooded,  but  also  Caernarvon,  Merioneth,  and  Denbigh  shires 
seemed  to  be  but  one  forest,  having  few  inhabitants ;  though,  of  all 
others,  Nantconwy  had  the  fewest,  being  the  worst  then,  and  the  seat 
of  the  wars,  to  whom  the  country  paid  contribution.  From  the  town 
of  Conwy  to  Bala,  and  from  Nantconwy  to  Denbigh  (when  wars  did 
happen  to  cease  in  Hiraethog,  the  country  to  the  east  of  Nantconwy), 
there  was  continually  fostered  a  wasp's  nest  which  troubled  the  whole 
country ;  I  mean  a  lordship  belonging  to  Saint  John  of  Jerusalem, 
called  Spyty  Ivan,f  a  large  thing  which  had  privilege  of  sanctuary. 
This  peculiar  jurisdiction  (not  governed  by  the  king's  laws)  became  a 
receptacle  for  a  thousand  murderers,  who  being  safely  warranted  there 
by  law,  made  the  place  thoroughly  peopled.  No  spot  within  twenty 
miles  was  safe  from  their  incursions  and  robberies,  and  what  they  got 


*  This  is  a  proof  that  the  deer  in  SnowrJon  forest  were  numerous  at  that  time. 
f  Hospitium  sive  Sanctuarium— Hospital.     The  word  is  perhaps  derived  from  Ys- 
bwyd-ty,  a  place  of  entertainment  or  refreshment. 


within  their  limits  was  their  own.  They  had  to  their  backstay  friends 
and  receptors  in  all  the  county  of  Merioneth  and  Powysland.  These 
helping  the  former  desolations  of  Nantconwy,  and  preying  upon  that 
country  as  their  next  neighbours,  kept  most  part  of  tne  country  all 
waste  and  without  inhabitants.  In  this  state  stood  the  hundred  of 
Nantconwy  when  Meredith  ab  levan  (my  ancestor)  removed  his 
dwelling  thither,  being  (as  I  guess)  about  the  four-and-twentieth  year 
of  his  age,  and  in  the  beginning  of  Henry  the  Seventh's  reign. — 
Being  questioned  by  his  friends,  why  he  meant  to  leave  his  ancient 
house  and  habitation  and  dwell  in  Nantconwy,  swarming  with  thieves 
and  bondmen,  whereof  there  are  many  in  the  king's  lordship  and 
towns  in  that  hundred,  he  answered,  that  he  should  find  elbow-room 
in  that  vast  country  among  the  bondmen,  and  that  he  had  rather  tight 
with  outlaws  than  with  his  own  blood  and  kindred ;  '  for  if  I  live  in 
my  own  house  in  Eivionydd*  (said  he),  I  must  either  kill  my  own 
kindred,  or  be  killed  by  them.'" — The  above  narrative  will  be  suffi- 
cient to  give  the  reader  an  idea  of  the  miserable  state  of  the  country 
at  that  time. 

The  Marquis  of  Anglesea  is  at  present  the  ranger  of  Snowdon 
forest,  constable  of  the  castle,  and  mayor  of  the  town  of  Caernarvon. 
These  offices  have  been  for  some  years  hereditary  in  the  family. 

It  is  supposed  that  Carnedd  Llywelyn  and  Camedd  Davydd  (two 
of  the  highest  peaks  of  the  Arvonian  range  next  to  Snowdon)  were  so 
denominated  owing  to  their  having  been  the  temporary  retreat  of 
those  princes  during  a  part  of  the  time  that  King  Edward  the  First's 
army  was  in  Wales  ;  and  no  doubt  the  heaps  of  stones  still  visible  on 
the  summits  of  these  and  other  mountains  were  collected  and  placed 
there  as  shelters  from  the  inclemency  of  the  weather,  to  those  who 
fled  to  them  during  that  contest  and  the  rebellion  of  Owain  Glyndwr. 
And  many  of  these  hills  appear  to  have  been  made  use  of  in  former 
times  (as  they  were  also  in  the  late  war)  as  signal-posts,  and  thus  to 
have  formed  a  kind  of  telegraphic  information  of  the  approach  of  an 

About  seven  miles  to  the  east  of  Llanberis  is 


(the  church  of  which  is  dedicated  to  Saint  Mary,)  a  small  village 
completely  embosomed  in  mountains,  forming  a  fine  contrast  with  the 
luxuriant  meadows  of  the  vale  below ;  the  houses  are  few  and  irre- 
gular, but  the  church  is  remarkably  neat,  of  the  origin  of  which  we 
have  a  singular  tradition,  which  assigns  the  following : — "  At  a  period 
when  wolves  were  so  formidable  and  numerous  in  Wales,  Llewelyn 
the  Great  came  to  reside  here  for  the  hunting  season,  with  his 
princess  and  children ;  but  while  the  family  were  one  day  absent,  a 
wolf  entered  into  the  house  and  attempted  to  kill  an  infant  that  was 


*  O*sail  Gyfarch  was  the  name  of  his  house. 


left  asleep  in  the  cradle.  The  prince's  favourite  greyhound,  called 
Gelert  (given  him  by  King  John  in  1205),  that  was  watching  by  the 
side,,  seized  the  rapacious  animal  and  killed  it,  but  in  the  struggle  the 
cradle  was  overturned,  and  lay  upon  the  wolf  and  child.  On  the 
prince's  return,  missing  the  infant,  and  observing  the  dog's  mouth 
stained  with  blood,  he  immediately  concluded  Gelert  had  murdered 
the  child,  and  in  a  paroxysm  of  rage  drew  his  sword  and  ran  the 
faithful  animal  through  the  heart ;  but  how  great  was  his  astonish- 
ment when,  on  replacing  the  cradle,  he  found  the  wolf  dead  and  his 
child  alive.  He,  however,  caused  the  grateful  creature  to  be  honour- 
ably interred,  and,  as  a  monument  to  his  memory,  erected  a  church 
on  the  spot,  as  a  grateful  offering  to  God  for  the  preservation  of  his 

At  Beddgelert  was  a  priory  of  Augustine  monks,  founded  by 
Anian,  Bishop  of  Bangor,  in  the  thirteenth  century,  and  is  supposed 
to  be  the  oldest  religious  house  in  Wales,  except  Bardsey  and  Bangor 
Iscoed.  In  1280  this  monastery  was  much  damaged  by  fire,  but 
rebuilt  soon  after  with  money  obtained  by  Anian,  for  absolving  such 
as  sincerely  repented  of  their  sins,  by  remitting  the  usual  penance  of 
forty  days.  There  is  no  relict  whatever  of  this  place  remaining. 
Near  here  is  a  beautiful  vale  called  Gwynant,  or  more  properly  Nant 
Gwynant,  about  six  miles  long,  and  affords  a  great  variety  of  woods, 
lakes,  and  meadows,  bounded  on  each  side  by  lofty  mountains,  which 
add  considerably  to  the  beauty  of  this  romantic  place.  On  the  left 
hand,  half  a  mile  up  the  vale,  is  a  lofty  rock,  called  Dinas  Emrys, 
the  fort  of  Ambrosius,  and  where  tradition  says  Vortigern  retreated 
after  calling  in  the  Saxons,  by  which  he  for  some  time  avoided  the 
persecution  and  odium  of  his  country.  It  is  probable  that  on  this 
insular  rock  he  erected  a  temporary  residence  of  timber,  which  lasted 
him  till  his  final  retreat  to  Nant  Gwytherny,  or  Vortigern's  valley, 
near  Nevyn.  Here  are  two  beautiful  lakes,  abounding  with  trout : 
Llyn  Gwynant,  the  uppermost,  near  which  are  the  ruins  of  an  old 
chapel,  Capel  Nant  Trwynan  ;  and  Llyn  Dinas,  the  lowermost,  at 
one  end  of  which  is  a  neat  villa  belonging  to  Daniel  Vawdrey,  Esq. 
and  at  the  other  the  ancient  fortress  of  Dinas  Emrys. 

Tanner  ascribes  the  church  to  Llewelyn,  the  last  prince,  but  Mr. 
Rowlands  has  proved  it  to  be  more  ancient  even  than  the  reign  of 
Owain  Gwynedd,  as  it  obtained  grants  of  lands,  &c.  from  that  prince, 
and  also  from  Llewelyn  the  Great.  The  prior  generally  resided  at 
Llanidan,  in  Anglesey,  as  appears  from  several  deeds  which  Mr. 
Rowlands  consulted,  signed  by  one  Kynhelin,  Prior  de  Bethcelert, 
apud  Llan  Idan  in  monasterio  ibidem.  The  townships  of  Berw  and 
TreV  Beirdd  had  been  given  by  Prince  Owain  Gwynedd  to  this 
convent.  The  prior  had  also  for  his  support  the  grange  of  Llech- 
eiddior  in  Eivionydd,  also  the  grange  of  Fentidilt,  and  the  village  of 
Gwernfrelyn ;  he  had  also  an  allowance  of  fifty -two  cows  and  twenty- 


two  sheep.*  The  expenses  of  the  house  must  have  been  considerable/ 
as  religious  houses  of  this  description  in  former  times  answered  the 
threefold  purposes  of  inns,  almshouses,  and  hospitals.  In  1.535  it 
was  bestowed  by  Henry  the  Eighth  upon  the  abbey  of  Chertsey,  in 
Surrey.  On  the  dissolution,  the  king  gave  to  the  family  of  the 
Bodvels  all  the  lands  in  Caernarvonshire  which  belonged  to  this 
priory,  and  all  those  in  Anglesey  to  that  of  the  Prydderchs,  except- 
ing the  township  of  Tre'r  Beirdd.  The  daughter  of  Richard  Pry- 
ddefch,  of  Myfyrian,  married  a  Llwyd  of  Llugwy;  and  on  the 
extinction  of  that  family  all  their  estates  were  bought  by  the  late 
Lord  Uxbridge,  who  left  them  to  his  nephew,  Sir  William  Irby,  the 
late  Lord  Boston.  Edward  Conway  is  mentioned  as  the  last  prior. 
The  revenues  of  Beddgelert  were  valued  by  Dugdale  at  twenty  pounds 
three  shillings  and  eight  pence.  This  parish  in  former  days  pro- 
duced two  celebrated  Welsh  bards,  who  both  lived  in  the  township 
of  Nanmor,  in  the  county  of  Merioneth ;  viz.  Rhys  Goch  o  Eryri  and 
Rhys  Nanmor.  Rhys  Goch  is  said  to  have  lived  at  a  place  called 
Havod  Garegog ;  and  a  stone  not  far  from  Pont  Aberglaslyn  is  shewn 
as  his  chair  (Cadair  Rhys  Goch).  The  scene  of  Southey's  '  Madoc* 
is  laid  principally  in  this  parish.  Tradition  affirms,  that  Prince? 
Madoc  ab  Owain  Gwynedd  (who  is  supposed  first  to  have  discovered 
America)  resided  in  this  parish,  and  used  to  attend  divine  service  irt 
Nant  Gwynant  chapel.  Sir  John  Wynne  informs  us,  that  when  the 
Earl  of  Pembroke's  army  took  Harlech  castle,  and  thence  visited 
Nantrwynan  (or  Nant  Gwynant)  in  Beddgelert,  a  noted  chief,  whose 
name  was  Robert  ab  levan,  of  the  Lancastrian  faction,  used  to  lodge 
at  night  in  the  rock  called  Ogo  Velen,  near  Meillionen.  This  was 
about  the  year  1468. 


(Properly  Aber  Cynwy)  is  a  large  picturesque  town  seated  near1  a 
river  of  that  name,  formerly  noted  for  being  a  pearl  fishery  even  in 
the  time  of  the  Romans.  Suetonius  says  the  chief  motive  alleged  by 
the  Romans  for  their  invasion  was  the  British  pearls.  One  presented 
to  the  queen  of  King  Charles  the  Second,  by  Sir  R.  Wynne,  is  now 
honoured  with  a  place  in  the  regal  crown.  The  town  was  strongly 
fortified  by  lofty  walls,  one  mile  in  circumference,  defended  by 
twenty-four  round  towers  and  four  gates,  called  Porth  ueha,  Forth 
issa,  Forth  y  Castell,  and  Porth  y  Felin,  or  the  Mill  Gate.  From 
the  side  towards  the  river  ran  two  curtains,  terminating  with  watcli 
towers,  one  of  which  only  remains.  The  entrance  to  the  castle 
(which  Mr.  Pennant  says  "  is  of  matchless  magnificence")  from  the 
former  gai;e  is  by  a  narrow  paved  gallery,  with  round  towers,  leading 
to  the  High  street,  which  terminates  at  a  similar  gate.  The  walls 


*  There  must  be  some  mistake  here  with  respect  to  the  sheep,  as  the  number  must 
have  been  much  greater, 


are  all  embattled,  and  12  or  15  feet  thick,  built  on  a  solid  rock,  but 
there  is  no  tower  to  the  north.     The  castle,  built  by  Edward  the 
First  in  1284,  who,  it  is  believed,  employed  the  same  architect,  De 
Ellerton,  who  built  Caernarvon  castle,  stands  on  a  high  rock,  com- 
manding the  river,  with  eight  round  towers  in  its  circuit,  and  a  wall 
11  feet  thick.      The  principal  entrance  was  from  the  town  to   the 
north  over  the  bridge,  leading  into  a  large  oblong  area,  with  a  spa- 
cious terrace  on  the  west.     On  the  south,  near  the  river,  is  an  elegant 
hall  139  feet  by  32  feet,  and  30  feet  high,  with  a  chapel  at  one  end. 
Its  roof  was  supported  by  eight  fine  gothic  arches,  and  warmed  by  a 
great  fire-place  at  one  end,  and  another  on  the  side,  and  lighted  by 
nine  windows,  having  underneath  spacious  vaults  for  ammunition. 
Near  the  east  end  the  stranger  passes  into  a  square  court,  surrounded 
by  galleries  and  small  apartments.     On  the  north  is  the  king's  tower, 
a  vaulted  room  with  a  recess  or  cell  of  seven  pointed  and  groined 
arches :  three  are  open,  having  under  them  more  arches,  with  abase- 
ments all  round.     This  is  called  the  King's  Seat,  the  other  is  named 
the  Queen's  Tower.     On  the  south  side  of  the  castle  half  a  tower  is 
fallen  from  its  foundation,  leaving  the  upper  part  suspended,  occa- 
sioned by  the  inhabitants  digging  slate  from  its  foundation.      Many  of 
the  towers  have  smaller  ones  arising  from  them  as  at  Caernarvon. 
The  castle  seems  to  have  been  of  considerable  importance   in  the 
reign  of  Charles  the  First,  when  we  find  it  strongly  fortified,  and  had 
the  principal  effects  of  the  county  lodged  within  its  walls.     However, 
Colonel  Mytton,  a  parliament  general,  got  possession  of  it  in  1646, 
but  it  was  again  restored  to  the  owner:   a  breach  has  lately  been 
made  in  the  town  wall  for  the  road  leading  to  the  elegant  and  admired 
suspension  bridge  lately  erected,  the  east  end  of  which  rests  on  a  small 
rocky  island,  from  which  an  embankment  several  hundred  yards  in 
length  has  been  formed  to  the  Denbighshire  side  of  the  river.     The 
church,  dedicated  to  Saint  Mary,  is  a  very  plain  structure,  with  a 
few  good  monuments  of  the  Wynnes.     The  following  eminent  persons 
were  buried  therein :  Cynan  ab  Owen  Gwynedd,  A.  D.  1200;  its  great 
founder,    Llywelyn   ab   lorwerth,    1240;    Llywelyn   ap   Maelgwyn, 
1230;  Davydd  ab  Llywelyn,  1246;  and  Gruflydd  ab  Llywelyn  ab 
lorwerth,  1248.     At  the  Dissolution,  the  founder's  coffin  was  removed 
to  Llanrwst,  where  it  is  still  to  be  seen.     A  very  rude  figure,  cut  in 
stone,  preserves  the  memory  of  Mary,  the  mother  of  Archbishop 
Williams,  who  died  in  child-birth  of  twins,  October  10,  1585.     In 
the  church -yard  is  an  inscription  on  a  tomb -stone  of  one  Nicholas 
Hookes,  Gent,  importing  that  he  was  the  one-and-fortieth  child  of 
his  father,  William  Hookes,  Esq,  by  Alice  his  wife,  and  the  father  of 
twenty-seven  children;  he  died  20th  March,   1637.     Here  are  like- 
wise some  remains  of  a  college,  founded  in  the  reign  of  Edward  the 
First,  now  in  complete  ruins,  but   still  shewing  some  specimens  of 



curious  workmanship,  with  several  sculptured  armorial  bearings, 
some  of  which  relate  to  the  Stanleys.  Among  other  curiosities  of 
this  town  is  shewn  an  antique  house  (lately  inhabited  by  four  fami- 
lies), built  in  a  quadrangular  form  by  Robert  Wynne,  Esq.  of  the 
family  of  Gwydir,  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  and  adorned  in 
the  fantastic  fashion  of  that  period.  The  roof  is  singularly  carved 
with  a  profusion  of  ornaments,  and  the  front  decorated  with  the  arms 
of  England,  and  some  curious  crests,  with  birds  and  beasts,  bearing 
date  1585.  Over  the  door  facing  the  street  are  the  arms  of  Queen 
Elizabeth:  over  the  gateway  is  a  Greek  inscription,  and  in  Latin  the 
words  "  Sustine,  abstine,"  and  on  the  house  "  I.  H.  S.  X.  P.  S." 
in  Greek  unicals  or  capitals.  Richard  the  Second  remained  here 
some  little  time  on  his  return  from  Ireland;  and  was  soon  after 
betrayed  and  delivered  into  the  hands  of  his  enemy,  the  usurper 
Bolingbroke.  The  castle  of  Conway  was  in  the  custody  of  Arch- 
bishop Williams  from  1642  to  1645,  when  he  was  superseded  by 
Prince  Rupert,  who  caused  Sir  John  Owen  to  take  possession  of  it. 
Llywelyn,  the  son  of  lorwerth,  Prince  of  North  Wales,  built  and 
endowed  a  Cistertian  Abbey  here,  to  the  honour  of  the  blessed 
Virgin  and  all  Saints,  in  the  year  1185:  but  about  the  year  1283, 
when  King  Edward  the  First,  out  of  the  ruins  of  the  old  city,  built 
a  new  one,  he  took  this  abbey  into  his  hands,  and  founded  another  at 
Maenan,  in  Denbighshire,  about  three  miles  distant,  and  translated 
the  monks  thither."* 

DIGANWY,  or  Gannoc,  or  Din  Gonwy,  (the  castle  on  the  river 
Conway,)  was  once  a  famous  city,  but  being  destroyed  by  lightning  in 
816,  was  never  afterwards  rebuilt,  so  that  the  name  only  now  remains, 
with  a  tradition  that  Conway  rose  out  of  its  ruins.  Many  battles  are 
said  to  have  been  fought  here  between  the  Britons  and  Saxons. 
About  100  years  ago,  a  number  of  brass  celts  were  found  under  a 
great  stone,  placed  heads  and  points.  At  present  the  only  remains 
of  this  ancient  place  are  on  two  hills,  near  the  shore  of  Conway;  the 
space  between  crossed  by  the  walls  running  up  the  sides.  On  the 
summit  of  one  are  the  vestiges  of  a  round  tower,  and  a  few  foundations 
of  walls  scattered  on  its  accessible  parts.  In  1088,  Robert  Radland 
was  here  overpowered  by  the  Welsh  and  slain.  Soon  after,  Llywelyn 
ab  Gruffydd  destroyed  the  castle;  and  it  was  again  rebuilt  in  the  year 
1210,  by  Randolph  Earl  of  Chester.  King  John  also  lay  under  its 
walls  in  1211,  but  was  afterwards  reduced  to  great  distress  by  Prince 
Llywelyn ;  as  was  Henry  the  Third  on  the  same  spot.  The  castle 
was,  however,  entirely  destroyed  by  Llywelyn  ab  Gruffydd.  Near 
this  place,  on  a  low  hill,  are  the  remains  of  an  ancient  round  tower,  20 
feet  high  and  only  12  broad. 

At  the  distance  of  four  miles  from  Aberconway  is  the  village  of. 
Dwygyfylchi,  the  church  of  which  is  dedicated  to  Saint  Gwynin,  who 


*  Tanner's  Not.  Mon. 


flourished  about  the  middle  of  the  sixth  century.  A  little  south  of 
Dwygyfylchi  is  Penmaen  Mawr,  a  most  stupendous  mountain,  being 
1400  feet  perpendicular  from  its  base,  and  to  travellers  extremely 
dangerous.  In  1772  a  good  turnpike  road  was  attempted  to  be  car- 
ried over  the  middle  of  it ;  but  from  its  situation,  close  to  a  frightful 
precipice,  it  was  found  impossible  to  render  it  permanent  and  secure; 
therefore  a  stone  wall,  in  many  places  140  feet  high,  was  erected,  to 
defend  the  traveller  from  the  clanger  of  the  horrid  precipice  below 
and  from  the  sea,  which  breaks  just  before  the  wall  close  to  the  road. 
When  proceeding  up  the  side  of  this  mountain,  among  numerous 
fragments  of  stones  falling  or  staring  through  the  rugged  surface,  we 
are,  therefore,  happily  concealed  from  the  perpendicular  declivity  to 
the  sea  by  a  wall  5  feet  high,  erected  on  arches  of  stone  bedded  in 
strong  mortar,  but  with  such  little  foundation,  that  a  large  portion  of 
it  is  continually  falling  into  the  Irish  sea,  or  obstructing  the  road.  A 
new  road  is  now  in  contemplation  to  avoid  this  dangerous  and  horrific 
situation.  On  each  side  of  Penmaen  Mawr  was  a  small  inn,  where 
Dean  Swift  wrote  the  following  lines  on  the  glass  in  one  of  the 
windows : — • 

Before  you  venture  here  to  pass 
Take  a  good  refreshing  glass ; 

and  at  the  other  house, 

Now  you're  over  take  another, 
Your  fainiing  spirits  to  recover. 

On  the  summit  stands  Braich  y  Dinas,  an  ancient  fortification, 
encompassed  with  a  strong  treble  wall,  and  within  each  wall  the 
foundation  of  at  least  100  towers  all  round,  of  equal  size,  being 
about  6  yards  in  diameter,  with,  in  other  places,  from  two  to  three 
yards  thick,  the  castle  seems  to  have  been  impregnable,  there  being 
no  way  to  assault  it,  because  the  hill  is  so  high,  steep,  and  rocky,  and 
the  walls  so  uncommonly  strong.  The  way  or  entrance  to  it  ascends 
by  so  many  turnings  that  100  men  may  defend  themselves  against  a 
legion;  yet  there  appears  room  for  20,000  men  within  its  ruinous 
walls.  At  the  summit  of  the  rock,  within  the  innermost  wall,  is  a 
well,  affording  plenty  of  water,  even  in  the  driest  summer.  Tradi- 
tion makes  this  the  strongest  retreat  the  Britons  had  in  Snowdon ; 
while  the  magnitude  of  the  works  shew  it  to  have  been  a  princely 
fortification,  strengthened  by  nature  and  art,  and  seated  near  the  sea 
on  one  of  the  highest  mountains  in  Caernarvonshire.  Mr.  Pennant, 
in  his  examination  of  this  place,  discovered  four  very  distinct  walls, 
placed  one  above  the  other,  one  of  which  was  six  feet  high  and  one 
and  a  half  thick ;  in  most  places  the  facing  appeared  perfect,  but  all 
dry  work;  between  the  walls,  in  all  parts,  were  innumerable  small 
buildings,  mostly  circular,  regularly  faced  within  and  without,  but 
not  disposed  in  any  certain  order;  though  in  some  places  the  walls 
were  intersected  with  others  equally  strong,  and  very  judiciously 

w  2 


calculated  to  cover  the   passage  into  Anglesea,  being  apparently 
impregnable  to  every  thing  but  famine. 

About  one  mile  from  Braich  y  Dinas  is  Y  Meineu  Hirion,  one  of 
the  most  remarkable  monuments  in  all  Snowdon.     It  is  a  circular 
intrenchment  of  80  feet  diameter,  with